Mark Chase recently was recognized as the D.A.R.E. Law Enforcement Executive of the Year.
Gervais Police Chief Mark Chase was puzzled by a recent phone call he received from the regional director of the D.A.R.E. program, asking him if he had spoken with City Manager Susie Marston.
“My first thought was ‘Why would the D.A.R.E. regional director ask me about my city manager?” Chase said. “He explained that he wanted to move forward doing a video for our video conference.”
What Chase hadn’t realized, and what Marston kept as a surprise, was that the chief had been named this year’s D.A.R.E. Law Enforcement Executive of the Year. The award was formally presented during a July 13 D.A.R.E. video conference.
Chase was floored.
“I was just thrilled, I was honored, and I was extremely humbled to get this international award,” Chase said. “You do things over the course of your career, and it’s very special and humbling to receive an award for something I’ve been passionate about for so many years.”
Chase dedicated the award to his late father, John Chase, and his wife, Julie. His father was an elementary school teacher in Dallas, where Mark Chase grew up, and provided the future law-enforcement officer with his first opportunity to present to a fifth grade class information on making good decisions.
Mark and Julie Chase have been married for 32 years.
“For me, a big part of being successful in life is owed to having an amazing wife who supported and encouraged me to help kids and allowed me a lot of flexibility to do that,” Chase said.
D.A.R.E. America Western Regional Director Dennis Osborn said Chase’s active advocacy for the program has been instrumental in its growth and successes.
“I’ve met Mark several times, and he’s just such a nice man and great supporter of what we do,” Osborn said. “He’s been huge for D.A.R.E. in Oregon; not just an advocate, but a very vocal advocate. If you have a chief, sheriff or law-enforcement leader who likes the program but doesn’t talk about it, that’s one thing. Mark is an outspoken advocate.”
Osborn also cited Chase’s work in ensuring that training for the program flourished in the Pacific Northwest. He also accommodated Osborn to address the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police in Bend earlier this year, many of whom approached the director later not realizing that D.A.R.E. was still active and thriving.
Early prevention roots
Chase was a high school senior when he first took a Citizens Academy course offered at Dallas City Hall. It impacted him greatly, and he began formulating the thought process of how important prevention is. He became part of an award-winning neighborhood watch and crime prevention program, while initiating the first steps of what eventually would become a decades-long career in law enforcement.
Over time, Chase became a firm advocate of the D.A.R.E. program, and in more recent years implemented it in Gervais. He noted that the program has been around for nearly four decades, and he regards it as the preeminent substance-abuse prevention program — validated and evidence based. D.A.R.E. is used in more than 50 countries worldwide, and it’s been adjusted significantly over time to meet changing needs.
“I was interested in teaching it when I started my career in the ’80s,” Chase said, elaborating on the program’s initial development through the Los Angeles Police Department. “I saw that it was important for law enforcement to provide prevention programs.
“D.A.R.E. has had its (detractors), but they have revised it all along. There are health experts and behavior experts and even a scientific advisory board as part of it. They’ve tailored the lessons to be evidence based and effective.”
Osborn acknowledged that much of the earlier models of D.A.R.E. had limited success rates, but adjustments and fine-tuning over time have resulted in much stronger working models.
The chief emphasizes those adjustments as crucial, noting that in today’s web-infused world, young people encounter a plethora of challenges that did not exist a generation or two ago.
Recognition in Gervais
The nomination of Chase for the D.A.R.E. recognition was a collaborative one that included the city of Gervais, Gervais School District and members of the chief’s department. The nominating document noted that Chase’s career with multiple police departments has been exemplary, but it is “what he has done for D.A.R.E. that warrants praise and recognition.”
The nomination continued: “Chase has championed the D.A.R.E. program throughout our state. When a local police department was cutting the program, he saw an opportunity to bring D.A.R.E. to our community. Mark actively recruited an experienced D.A.R.E. officer for the job and didn’t stop there. Chief Chase also ensured his D.A.R.E. officer would be the state D.A.R.E. training coordinator.”
Gervais coordinates the program’s training statewide, while also instilling the lessons in the community’s local schools.
“Chief Mark Chase distinguished himself through the statewide promotion of D.A.R.E. officer training,” the nomination noted. “The Gervais Police Department co-hosted this class at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Last year the police academy campus closed due to COVID-19. Mark ensured training would continue by hosting another DOT at a nearby hotel.”
For Chase, the overarching aim settles right down into the community, and the D.A.R.E. program is a principal tool to that end — in Gervais and anywhere else it is employed.
“There is so much discussion about police legitimacy, trust and positive community relationships, and that’s where D.A.R.E. is so important: It touches on all of those areas,” Chase said. “D.A.R.E. builds trust, positive community relationships and legitimacy. It’s a positive option for (police) to institute in their departments.”
In Gervais the program has been in place for three years, which Chase said means that all middle school students now have familiarity with it from the elementary school level, and that education will ultimately carry over to the high school level, providing a firm basis from which students can make positive, productive decisions.
Despite the effective effort locally and statewide with the program, Chase is still flabbergasted that he would be honored.
“There are so many sheriffs and many police chiefs across the U.S. who do a phenomenal job teaching D.A.R.E. in their communities,” Chase said, pointing out last year’s Law Enforcement Executive of the Year awardee, Sheriff David Beth of Kenosha County, Wisconsin.
“It started in 1983, and it’s never gone away (although) it’s definitely ebbed and flowed,” Osborn said of D.A.R.E., citing a recent University of North Carolina at Greensboro study that attests to its current effectiveness. “It’s at its peak right now, and that is (crucial) because of what has happened with drug abuse.”
The dedication of modest local — yet vocal — advocates like Chase is a large reason.
State of Iowa Mentor Timothy Felton Awarded the “D.A.R.E. Iowa Terry Dehmlow Lifetime Achievement Award”
From the left: NE Iowa Rep for the Iowa D.A.R.E. Officers Association Rick LaGue, D.A.R.E. Mentor Tim Felton, Treasurer for the Iowa D.A.R.E. Officers Association Gary Bellinghausen. “Tim Felton joined the law enforcement community in 1976 and became a D.A.R.E…
2022 Kentucky D.A.R.E. Awardees
These recipients were recognized at the state of Kentucky S.R.O./D.A.R.E. Conference on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at The Perkins Conference Center at Eastern Kentucky State University in Richmond, KY. Mrs. Allison Johnson received the 2021-2022 KY’s Educator of the Year...
30 Years of Dedication and Service to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program of Ohio & D.A.R.E. America
On Wednesday evening, June 15, 2022, Lloyd Bratz & Rafael Morales of D.A.R.E. America were on hand for the state of Ohio’s D.A.R.E. Awards Banquet which was held at the Kalahari Resort & Conference Center in Sandusky, Ohio. At the banquet Officer Donald A. Wilson of the Springboro Police Department and Officer Ralph E. Tanner Jr. of the East Lake Police Department were recognized and presented with an award for the 30 Years of Dedication and Service to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program of Ohio & D.A.R.E. America.
Colonie Police Need You to Run With, Not Away from Them!
This weekend, the men and women of the Colonie Police force are asking you to run with them, not away from them! I think many of you would agree that this is a reasonable request considering how well trained they are in the art of hot pursuit. On Sunday, the men and...
D.A.R.E. logo and shirt – one of the most recognized logos in the world
How well known is the D.A.R.E. logo? It is one of the most recognized non-profit logos in the United States, if not the world. Design Hill, the world's leading creative marketplace that caters to the creative needs of businesses ranked the 50 “coolest” T-Shirts of all...
Carver has Learned Many Life Lessons as D.A.R.E. Teacher
St. Francois County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Carver has been a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer for 26 years. During that time, he’s worked with nearly 16,000 students at four local school districts. Carver has reached the point in his career where he…
Minnesota D.A.R.E. Statewide Poster Contest Winners
St. Bonifacius, MN – A Dover-Eyota Middle School student was selected as the winner of the 2022 Minnesota D.A.R.E. poster contest. Andrea R. is a student participating in the D.A.R.E. program under the direction of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office. Olmsted County…
D.A.R.E. Essay Winner Board installed in Village of Palmetto Bay
A D.A.R.E. essay winner board was installed this year in the Village of Palmetto Bay. The project was the brainchild of Officer Peter Judge and was executed by Officers Judge, Kevin Collins, and Mercy Rodriguez. The three schools that participated in the installation...
Adam Stanley Named New Shallotte’s Chief of Police
Stanley was a Brunswick County sheriff’s deputy for 25 years before retiring at the end of March. He spent eight of those years as a school resource officer, running programs like D.A.R.E. that made early interventions in kids lives…
Copyright © 2022 D.A.R.E. America. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2022 D.A.R.E. America.
All Rights Reserved.