Select Page

Chief of Police John Gavallas (left) stands with Officer Jeff Desena, SRO at Watertown High School, who will teach the revitalized D.A.R.E. program to sixth graders at Swift Middle School this year. (Perugini photo).

WATERTOWN — The Watertown Police Department has begun to revitalize and reinstitute the Drug Abuse Resistance Program, or D.A.R.E., which is designed to make students aware of the dangers of drug abuse.

Officer Jeff Desena has been chosen to teach the program to sixth graders at Swift Middle School.

The D.A.R.E. program makes a return to Watertown public education after more than a decade of absence. The program has gone through a revitalization in the past few years to help deal with the changing national climate when it comes to drug abuse.

The program now focuses more on encouraging kids to make smart decisions and avoid getting into situations where drugs and other harmful substances are available.

Students are taught how to think critically and voice their opinions if they are caught in a bad situation.

Officer Desena will engage the students with role playing scenarios, group discussions, cooperative activities and ask questions that promote students to think for themselves. Standard PowerPoint presentations, homework pages and curriculum guides will also be present during each class.

“Each kid has their own story,” said Officer Desena. He believes it is important to keep students engaged in discussion when it comes to dealing with drug abuse.

Officer Desena completed more than 80 hours of training in the span of two weeks this summer, to become certified to teach D.A.R.E.

The class he took included police officers and military officers from across the Northeast.

He was inspired by the program and is passionate about making sure the messages of D.A.R.E. are taught to Watertown students.

Officer Desena is also the school resource officer at Watertown High School and hopes that as the program continues throughout the years, he will get to know the students better and be able to help students when they face difficult decisions when they reach high school.

Police Chief John Gavallas expressed the importance of this program to help better community relations and allow greater trust between the town’s youth and law enforcement.

“It’s a big step forward with department outreach,” he said.

The first D.A.R.E. class with Officer Desena started last week. He plans for all 270 students of Swift’s sixth grade class go through the program by May.

The D.A.R.E. program is still in its early stages, but Chief Gavallas and Officer Desena hope to eventually expand the program to Watertown High School where more serious discussions about drug abuse can take place.

From Town Times

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

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

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

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...

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…

From Kinder to Grade 12, Kids to Get Drug Education

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…

24 Police Officers Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

From left to right: Bridgeport Capt. Porter with School Resource Officers Staples, Cascante and Orlich. The three graduates join Bridgeport, Conn., police ranks certified in D.A.R.E. training. Twenty-four new officers graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education...

Mass K2 Overdose Issue on Minds of Officers During D.A.R.E. Graduation

Several officers and troopers from around Connecticut graduated from the state police D.A.R.E. training program on Friday [August 17, 2018]. Thirty-seven officers graduated from the D.A.R.E. program Friday and the men and women will be tasked with teaching children to...


Purchase D.A.R.E. Merchandise & Workbooks