The anti-drug DARE program is giving way to expanded use of resource officers in Northern Kentucky schools, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Police say the new approach gives officers better flexibility to face today’s problems. The Boone County Ky., Sheriff’s Department stopped teaching DARE – Drug Abuse Resistance Education a little over a year ago, said spokesman Tom Scheben. “Most of what we saw in the Boone County schools was not necessarily drug or alcohol abuse. It was bullying or date rape, and DARE’s strict curriculum didn’t allow us to address those issues,” he said.
Many local police departments have gradually phased out DARE, favoring the resource officer program, which places officers in public middle and high schools on a part- or full-time basis. Alexandria Police Chief Mike Ward replaced DARE with the Character Counts program because he worried that DARE could have the opposite effect from what it intended. “In some ways, I think DARE exposed kids to drugs in a way that was counterproductive. By teaching kids about character, we can help them form the kinds of habits that will keep them off drugs,” he said. DARE is still alive and well at two other area schools. For Alexandria, the decision to go with school resource officers over DARE came down to finances and efficiency. The police department shares the burden of paying for resource officers with the school board. And there’s a member of the police department in the schools whenever a need arises.