Select Page

LEXINGTON, KY (WKYT) – Yes, the 24 people in this classroom are a little old to be fifth graders. But the training team will tell you, these police officers are playing the part for a reason.

“We want to turn it around and at least let them think they’re fifth graders so they understand the answers they’re going to get from some of these kids,” said Officer Kevin Grimes of the Nicholasville Police Department, a training team mentor.

Those 24 officers – from police departments all over Kentucky (and even two officers from California) – are in Lexington for a two-week D.A.R.E. training conference.

Many people in central Kentucky may remember the program from their childhood. Police officers go to elementary schools to teach students about the dangers of drugs, violence and other dangerous behaviors.

On a larger scale, D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is about laying a foundation for kids to make good decisions, using the “D.A.R.E. Decision-Making Model”: Define, Assess, Respond and Evaluate.

“It’s like math,” said Sgt. Greg Hill with Kentucky State Police. Hill is also the state’s D.A.R.E. coordinator. “If I teach a kid 2+2 and I stop there, will that kid ever know what 4+4 means? So if I teach them to make safe and responsible decisions in elementary school, and I also teach them to make safe and responsible decisions into middle school, hopefully it’ll carry on through high school and into their adult life.”

Lexington Police ended its D.A.R.E. program in 2011 for budgetary and staffing reasons, said Officer Bige Towery of the Lexington Police Department’s Community Services Unit.

But now it is back. The department re-launched the program in 2016.

Officer Towery told WKYT’s Garrett Wymer that Chief Mark Barnard, who took over leadership of Lexington’s police department in January 2015, has made a high priority of building and cultivating relationships with the community, also emphasizing the need for kids, starting at a young age, to have positive interactions with police.

“I really believe that there are messages that are being taught, messages being communicated through D.A.R.E. that maybe otherwise aren’t being communicated,” Officer Towery said.

Ten of the 24 officers currently being trained are from the Lexington Police Department. That is no accident. And, Officer Towery said, the department hopes to host the training again sometime over the next year, so that they can have even more Lexington officers trained.

The program may be coming back to Lexington at the right time – amid a troubling trend of violence, often drug-related and all too often involving teenagers.

“There’s a reality component to that, where we can talk to young people about, ‘If you make those decisions, these are potential consequences,’” Officer Towery said. “I think it’s important for them to know what could happen.”

The Lexington Police Department currently has four D.A.R.E. officers. They have completed the program with students at Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy and are currently in the middle of it at William Wells Brown Elementary, Towery said.

The current training runs until February 3, when the officers-in-training will graduate and become D.A.R.E. Officers. Officer Towery said they will start the program at a handful of schools, but hope to expand to even more schools in the next year.

From WKYT

D.A.R.E. Returns to Bath Schools

D.A.R.E. Returns to Bath Schools

Deputy Laura Rogers of the Bath County Sheriff’s Office visited The Recorder last week with her Drug Abuse Resistance Education materials. Rogers is teaching D.A.R.E. to fifth and eighth graders in Bath County schools this year, the first time D.A.R.E. has been taught...

Revamped D.A.R.E. Program May Offer Kids Way Out

Revamped D.A.R.E. Program May Offer Kids Way Out

BUCKHANNON — Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the hallmark drug education program known as D.A.R.E.,will be returning to Upshur County next year after a 20-year absence. The Upshur County Board of Education gave its approval for the program to be taught in schools…

Greene County Schools Welcome D.A.R.E. Program Back into the Classroom

Greene County Schools Welcome D.A.R.E. Program Back into the Classroom

GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Greene County Sheriff’s Office will soon help educate students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The school division is bringing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program back into the classroom after more than a decade...

D.A.R.E. Program Returning to Borough Schools

D.A.R.E. Program Returning to Borough Schools

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Police Department and Board of Education are bringing back the DARE program starting next school year. “We’re not immune to the problems facing the state and the country, especially as it relates to opioids,” Police Chief Steven Hunt said....

D.A.R.E. Returns

D.A.R.E. Returns

BUCKHANNON — Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), an educational program, was founded in 1983 and has proven so successful that it has been implemented in thousands of schools throughout the United States and over 50 other countries.D.A.R.E. is a police...

D.A.R.E Program to Return to Dunn County Schools

D.A.R.E Program to Return to Dunn County Schools

The D.A.R.E. program will return to local schools again this fall. Rebecca Merryfield, of the Dunn County Sheriff's Office, recently graduated from the D.A.R.E program put on by the South Dakota Law Enforcement Academy. She was one of 25 officers from across South...

Fifth-Graders at Camp Ground Elementary Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

Fifth-Graders at Camp Ground Elementary Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

Family and friends of fifth-graders at Camp Ground Elementary gathered in the school’s gymnasium to watch over 50 students graduate from the D.A.R.E. program. The 10-week program, led by Laurel County Detective Kyle Gray, educated Camp Ground’s fifth-graders on the...

School Graduates 200 from Revamped D.A.R.E. Program

School Graduates 200 from Revamped D.A.R.E. Program

MINNEOLA — About 200 Grassy Lake Elementary fifth graders on Wednesday became the first class to graduate from the Sheriff’s Office’s D.A.R.E. program in six years. Sheriff Peyton Grinnell said the program used to draw 6,000 students a year before it was cut for…

Madisonville PD D.A.R.E. Officer: ‘The Role is Rewarding’

Madisonville PD D.A.R.E. Officer: ‘The Role is Rewarding’

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/22/19) — A police officer dedicated to Drug Abuse Resistance Education walks through the doors of elementary schools weekdays, with the mindset to lead youth down the right path. His goal is to teach children attending West Broadway, Grapevine,...

Copyright © 2019 D.A.R.E. America. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2019 D.A.R.E. America. All Rights Reserved.