DURANT, Oklahoma (KTEN) — Wednesday [June 8, 2022] was day one for D.A.R.E. program training at the Choctaw Casino in Durant.

But D.A.R.E. — Drug Abuse Resistance Education — is not just about saying “no” to drugs.

“Of course, D.A.R.E., when it first started, was more about drugs,” said Madill Police Capt. Chris Smith. “‘Don’t do drugs,’ stuff like that. But, now it’s leaning towards better decision-making.”

Around 75 law enforcement officers are attending the Durant conference.

“We train officers from all over the United States,” said Marshall County Sheriff Donald Yow. “They come to Oklahoma to learn D.A.R.E. And every year, we have a conference where we learn new curriculum to re-certify.”

Officers have been coming to Durant for the training for a few years, and they learn updated information on how to help kids make safe and smart choices in life.

Lindsay Public Schools school resource officer Sgt. Dereck Hickman said he loves getting to do classroom training and getting to know the kids, and for the kids to get to know law enforcement personnel as well.

“Veteran officers that have hired on in their department talk about how the kids are coming up to them and always asking them, ‘Hey do you know Officer Hickman?'” he said. “And they feel comfortable with our officers because of the interactions we have in the classroom.”

Thursday’s class is required for officers to be certified to teach the D.A.R.E. program to students.

From KTEN
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All Rights Reserved.