Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) in Lincoln County

Three members of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office are currently teaching the 5th graders of Lincoln County regarding DARE. Those members are: Chief Deputy Rand Maker, Deputy First Class Brian Collamore and Sergeant Matthew Day. Each one has been assigned a school and conduct the nationally certified curriculum to those 5th graders.

Officers chosen as DARE Officers go through a very tough process to be chosen as DARE Officers. These members have the children’s interest at heart. The lessons they teach are from a national standard that has now gone through its fourth revision since it’s inception in 1983. Officers selected to be DARE Officers are then sent to a two week school to learn how to teach the DARE program. Officers are taught each of the ten lessons, classroom management, confrontation/de-escalation skills and the correct way to send the message of DARE. Not all those who go to school graduate. It takes a special officer who wants to teach DARE.

Started in Los Angeles, California is 1983, twelve officers of the LAPD taught the first classes. The program became a national movement to teach children to say no. Today, DARE is taught in more than 130 countries around the world and to 3.5 million 5th graders in the United States.

For years “just say no” was a power slogan used across America for kids to use when faced with pressure to take drugs. The lessons taught have been constantly evaluated, critiqued and even now have been revamped for a fourth time. The curriculum must reach the modern child. Officers still talking about just telling someone using a “broken record” method will confuse the 5th grader of today. Most of them have never heard of a record. Officers today talk about a “skipping CD.”  Kids relate to that.

The lessons are each about 60 minutes long. There are ten lessons. If an officer reaches a child just once with DARE, it is to make the message clear: It is your choice, your body and your decision.

These officers currently teaching in Lincoln County strive to reach as many of the children as possible and give them the tools to learn that what the child feels and wants is more important than what a friend wants them to do. Officers give strategies for kids to avoid peer pressure and to allow that child to speak from the heart when deciding what they want. Relationship building is key to the success of any officer with children. If there is a connection, the roads are endless and the rewards many. For those they cannot reach, the road may have some bumps along the way.

DARE is the longest serving anti-drug message in the country. Many have stated that DARE does not work. They have slanted the statistics to show that the message has gotten lost because of the officers teaching methods. DARE works…………….. Parents are so important…………….. Schools want the support!

More Information:

·         The official D.A.R.E. website

·         D.A.R.E. programs in Maine