MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a program that has been in a schools for almost three decades. You may even remember taking it yourself – D.A.R.E. Or maybe you have a fourth- or fifth-grader who is going through the program right now.
This year, Minnesota D.A.R.E. has 22 new officers.
As the demographics of Minnesota’s population continue to change, so do the D.A.R.E. officers who serve. That includes two of the first Somali D.A.R.E. officers from the Columbia Heights Police Department.
They are Officer Mohammed Farah and Ibrahim Farah. WCCO’s Ali Lucia recently sat down with who the kids call “Officer Mo” to learn more about the program, and this morning he is our Minnesotan to Meet.
Farah immigrated to Minnesota with his family in 2002.
As a ninth-grader at Rochester Mayo High School, he didn’t speak English, so serving in the police force seemed like a far off dream.
“I immigrated to this country, I never imagined being a peace officer, and certainly my parents never imagined being a police officer, growing up in the civil war (in Somalia),” Farah said.
Four years ago, he achieved his goal when he became a member of the Columbia Heights Police Department.
“It’s a very challenging demanding career and certain people can’t do it,” Farah said. “It has to be in your blood or something to be a police officer.”
As a D.A.R.E. Officer, Farah is fostering relationships with students at Valley View Elementary School. The Executive Director of D.A.R.E Minnesota Kathi Ackerman said this is critical not only for Officer Mo, but also the kids.
“Getting into the classroom, forming a relationship with children, we talk to them about safety information it could be a variety of different topics,” Ackerman said.
Ackerman said the relationship development goes both ways.
“The other strange thing is that the officers are humanizing the children as well, they’re not just a community of kids and he begins to learn from them as they learn from him,” Ackerman said.
Officer Mo is set to serve on the D.A.R.E. diversity council, Ackerman says to help better fit the D.A.R.E communities that they serve.
Offier Mo said recently he was out on a medical call and he ran into one of his D.A.R.E. students. He said it made a huge difference when responding to an emergency situation.
From CBS Minnesota
Photo: D.A.R.E. Officer and Vermilion County Sheriff’s Deputy Jay Miller in his office at the Public Safety Building.
Miller’s duties take to several schools in the county. Parents can use the extra assistance when it comes to helping their children make right decisions…
Read an article about D.A.R.E. by Richard Clayton, Ph.D., former Chair of Health Education and Health Promotion in the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky. For more than 20 years, he was the director of the federally funded Center for Prevention Research
National Sheriffs’ Association Article: D.A.R.E. Responds to America’s Opioid Crisis with New K-12 Prevention Lessons
Substance abuse prevention education organization D.A.R.E. America has launched new nationwide curricula for law enforcement officer-led D.A.R.E. programs targeting K-12 classrooms, parents, and communities that will challenge the national opioid and prescription…
WATFORD CITY, N.D. - The Watford City Police Department says they've seen increase in underage alcohol, tobacco, and narcotic use in the area. Officers are now working to combat that problem using a program that has been proven to work in some of the biggest cities in...
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has given the go signal for the Department of Health (DOH) to educate school children from Kindergarten to Grade 12 about the ill effects of taking illegal drugs…
D.A.R.E. is making a difference in Chickasaw County. Houston, Houlka and Okolona have all hosted D.A.R.E. graduation ceremonies over the last two months and that means every fifth grader in Chickasaw County has heard the critical message of this national program. The...
Sixth-grade students perform “I Will D.A.R.E.,” a song they learned under the instruction of band/music director Michelle Boelk Thursday in the Falls High School gymnasium. More than 60 students graduated from the D.A.R.E. program…
Parents stand to the applause of students Friday during the D.A.R.E. graduation at the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria. More than 900 Santa Maria-area elementary students vowed to make smart choices and consider the consequences of their actions during a Friday morning graduation…
Orchard Park, N.Y. (WIVB) - A program that's reached thousands of children across the country is now celebrating a milestone in Orchard Park. D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) has been taught in OP schools for 25 years now. When you walk into Officer Kristen...