Fewer schoolchildren in the Detroit area will have officers in their classrooms this fall to warn them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, reports the Detroit News. The latest police department to drop or pare participation in Drug Abuse Resistance Education, Warren, is reassigning officers to road patrols. The police-led classroom series has been dropped from dozens of Michigan departments in recent years.
State DARE coordinator Audrey Martini said 92 Michigan agencies taught DARE to 35,926 students in 438 schools in January. That’s down from the 116 agencies signed up in the 2008-09 school year and 128 in 2007-08. Another change is that fewer officers are dedicated to DARE full-time. Founded in Los Angeles in 1983, DARE is used in 75 percent of the nation’s school districts. In the 1990s, several studies came out attacking the effectiveness of the program’s early curriculum, which has been revised. “I don’t think I have ever had a department cancel DARE because they don’t think it works,” said Chad Hurrle, past president of the DARE Officers Association of Michigan. “When a 25- or 30-year-old can still remember who their DARE officer is, you can’t tell me it doesn’t work.”