D.A.R.E. (Drugs Abuse Resistance Education) is a nationally recognized program introduced in 1983. According to the D.A.R.E. America web site, D.A.R.E. is currently in use by 75% of the nation's school districts.
The Watchung Police Department works with D.A.R.E. and the Watchung public school system to bring fun and educational material about the consequences of substance abuse and violence. Our D.A.R.E. Officer partners with parents and educators in delivering a comprehensive curriculum to prevent the use of drugs and promote healthy lifestyles and choices.
The program provides children with the skills needed to recognize and resist the pressures that cause them to experiment with drugs or become involved in dangerous activities. The curriculum includes a basic introduction to the health effects of tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. The term "Peer Pressure" is introduced and students learn about the consequences of poor decision making and the adverse effects of bullying.
Also, the D.A.R.E. Program succeeds in presenting police in a positive role and creates a connection between the public and the Watchung Police. By utilizing this approach, children view police as a positive community presence and view the D.A.R.E. Officer as a mentor and role model.