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Pictured left-to-right are Officer Woodworth, Sgt. Kmiec, and Domenic DiNatale, Director DARE Massachusetts at Officer Woodworth’s D.A.R.E. Officer Graduation ceremony held in Concord NH. (Courtesy of the Ipswich Police department).

CONCORD, N.H. — Police Chief Paul A. Nikas is pleased to report that there is a new D.A.R.E. Officer in town.

Officer Aaron Woodworth recently completed the D.A.R.E. Officer Training program at the Northern New England Training Team Regional Training Facility in Concord. The class, which was held Dec. 1-12 educated Officer Woodworth in the concepts and mission of the D.A.R.E. program and certified him to teach the program to Ipswich students.

“I believe in and fully support the D.A.R.E. program. It gives children tools to resist alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, and the most modern iteration of D.A.R.E. helps students become informed decision makers,” Chief Nikas said. “As educators, we need to give children the knowledge and tools they need to make smart, healthy decisions, and I am very proud of Officer Woodworth, our next generated D.A.R.E. officer.”

The D.A.R.E. Officer training is a rigorous and intensive two-week live-in program encompassing many subjects such as learning modalities, child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, lesson planning, team building, communication and public speaking. During D.A.R.E. Officer Training, the officers spend a great deal of time working with trained staff mentors and an educator where they learn about brain-based learning, youth culture trends, learning styles, drug information, effective questioning, active listening, and also learning and practicing the D.A.R.E. curriculum and material.

The D.A.R.E. Program was founded by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, in 1983. The D.A.R.E. program was started in Ipswich in 1990 by now-retired Officer Donald Cole and has continued ever since. The program has been delivered to all 6th grade students in the Ipswich Middle School for the past several years.

“The D.A.R.E. program is more than just teaching students about drug and alcohol information,” said Ipswich Police Sergeant Daniel J. Kmiec, the Department’s Drug Use Prevention Coordinator. “The new “Keepin’ it Real” curriculum taught in D.A.R.E. focuses on many aspects such as decision making, risks and consequences, health effects, friendships, peer pressure, personal pressure, being confident, and ways to be in charge.”

In 2013, the Ipswich Police Department received a generous grant from the Rotary Club to expand the D.A.R.E. Program to the 7th grade as well. At present, the Department has two certified D.A.R.E. Instructors, Sergeant Kmiec who teaches the 6th grade D.A.R.E. program and newly-certified D.A.R.E. Officer Woodworth who will teach the 7th grade D.A.R.E. program.

Chief Nikas would like to thank Domenic DiNatale, Director of D.A.R.E. Massachusetts for his continued support of the D.A.R.E. Program not only in the Ipswich Schools, but statewide. Officer Woodworth’s tuition, room and board, was fully funded by D.A.R.E. Massachusetts. Chief Nikas also would like to thank the Rotary Club for their continued support of the D.A.R.E. Program in the Ipswich Public Schools.