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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

D.A.R.E. Comes Back to Northside

Walterboro police officers helping to push an anti-drug message to a local elementary school. Students who attend Forest Hills Elementary in Walterboro will be receiving a D.A.R.E. course, thanks to new D.A.R.E.-Certified officer Rusty Davis. Davis is a Lance Corporal with the WPD who received his certification through the national anti-drug program last year.

D.A.R.E. Program Returns to Saranac Lake

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D.A.R.E. Returns to Anne Arundel County, Maryland

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D.A.R.E. Program Comes to Gwinn

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Groveland Police Restart D.A.R.E. Program

GROVELAND — After a 12-year hiatus, the Groveland Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program has been restarted and, according to Chief Jeffrey Gillen, it has been well received by school officials and parents.

Groveland Detective Josh Sindoni (in photo), a three-year member of the department, is the town’s D.A.R.E. officer.

D.A.R.E. Program Returns to Nelson’s Elementaries

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Berlin Students Shop with Police to Help Families in Need

Several families in town will have a better holiday season this year thanks to fifth graders and the Berlin Police Department. Earlier this month, three elementary school students were chosen through a lottery system to accompany officers on a trip to the toy store to buy gifts for families in need. The event, in its second year, is part of the D.A.R.E. program for fifth graders. The students and their parents, as well as some siblings, helped officers shop for 11 families at the Toys R’ Us on the Berlin Turnpike.

Teaching Kids to Make Safe, Responsible Decisions

Students in a fifth-grade class at Herkimer Elementary School were given a scenario Thursday where a girl who smokes was going to a party. Some of the students offered solutions about what they would do. One said to not go. Another said to go, but if the friend started smoking to say you had to go home. Another said to just walk away.

5th Grade D.A.R.E. Graduation at Westside Elementary in Sisseton, SD

"Officer Appel put on a mind blowing graduation for the first kids to graduate a D.A.R.E. program in Sisseton in 20 years. The ceremony included a full police escort with lights and sirens to the performing arts center. We were joined on stage by the Mayor, Sisseton...

 
 
 
 
 
 

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