In 1983 a group of educators and police officers in Los Angeles came together and started an innovative prevention program known as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Over the next several years the program grew rapidly on the west coast. The Salem Police Department began their D.A.R.E. program in 1992 with one officer teaching full time in six elementary schools. Locally, the program experienced considerable growth and it was expanded into thirty elementary schools.
Ofc. Craig Seibel became our D.A.R.E. Officer in 2002 and today he teaches full-time in fifteen schools. From September to June of each school year he is actively teaching in four or more classes a day, five days a week. That works out to more than 1,000 students each year. Over the past fifteen years Ofc. Seibel has taught more than 15,000 students!
As we celebrate 25 years of D.A.R.E., let’s consider some of the reasons for the programs longevity. First, the D.A.R.E. program is a partnership with the Salem Police Department, the Salem-Keizer School District, and the citizens of this wonderful city. As a community, we actively work together to help keep our kids safe. D.A.R.E. really is a bridge that builds positive community relations and trust.
Second, the D.A.R.E. program of today is far different than the one we started with back in 1992. Over time, the program has included leading experts in prevention science and members of the research community. As a result, D.A.R.E. has evolved into a much better education and prevention curricula known as “keepin’ it REAL.” Today, we are included in the National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices. Furthermore, we also meet National Common Core educational standards.
Third, every year we ask for businesses and private citizens to help fund this valuable program by making a donation to the Salem Police Foundation for D.A.R.E. Their contributions pay for the workbooks, materials, and supplies that that go into the hands of our students. Year after year our sponsors continue to generously provide the financial support we need. We are truly grateful for their faithful assistance.
In conclusion, D.A.R.E. is still the #1 school based education and prevention program in the world. It is also the only program of its kind which develops and reinforces community-based prevention and community-oriented policing. The reason we are able to reflect back on 25 years of D.A.R.E. in Salem is because we have community leaders who recognize its value and proven track record. We understand it is our responsibility to help the next generation lead safe and healthy lives.
On behalf of the Salem Police Department, the Salem-Keizer School District, our D.A.R.E. students and families we extend a sincere “Thank you!” to our
Download the Salem, OR D.A.R.E. September 2017 Newsletter.
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