The Illinois State Police has no money to pay for training or materials for a new curriculum in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) training program, the Chicago Tribune says. Last year, former Gov. George Ryan earmarked $600,000 for DARE, down from $1.9 million in 2001.
DARE officials predicted that half the schools and police departments in the state would drop the program by year’s end if money did not materialize. Some communities have replaced DARE with a different drug-prevention program. Some DARE programs are thriving, including in the Chicago Police Department, which graduated 25 more DARE officers this summer.
DARE, founded in 1983, puts police officers in schools as positive role models. It reaches 26 million U.S. children a year. Most costs associated with DARE are handled by local police departments. Illinois police departments have counted on the state police to help offset costs by providing free training and workbooks.
Last week, the Kane County Board declined Sheriff Ken Ramsey’s request for $15,000 for DARE. County board member John Noverini said the board does not want to pay for a program that research shows does not work. “At best, the program is not effective. At worst, it promotes drug use,” he said. “If we finance the program, we’re doing a disservice to our kids.” Some communities that discontinued DARE this year did so not because of financial concerns, but because it did not meet their communities’ needs.