The St. Joseph County Police Department’s DARE program was implemented in 1996. Since that time, thousands of 5th and 6th grade students have successfully graduated from our program.

The DARE program teaches our youth to resist the pressures of using drugs including: alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.

This year, 35 million school children around the world ( 26 million of whom are in the U.S. ) will benefit from the DARE ( Drug Abuse Resistance Education ). This program gives children the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.

DARE was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles, California. Since this time, DARE has been a successful program growing to be taught in 80 percent of our nations school districts and in 52 countries around the world.

Here Locally, the St. Joseph County Police Department implemented the DARE program in 1996. At that time the DARE program was taught in thirteen schools. Currently, our department serves fourteen schools throughout St. Joseph County. These schools include Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation, Union North, and several private schools.

DARE goes far beyond the traditional drug abuse programs that emphasize drug identification and the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.

These programs only warn children not to use substances, not how to resist the pressures to try them. DARE teaches children the skills they need to recognize and resist the subtle and overt pressures that may lead them to experiment with drugs and alcohol, recognize responsible decision making processes and help combat bullying. We have two police officers who are utilized as regular classroom instructors who have gone through extensive training to teach the DARE curriculum.

The primary goal of DARE is the prevention of substance abuse, responsible decision making, gang affiliation, and involvement in violence among school children.

DARE accomplishes this goal by:

  • Providing accurate information about drugs and alcohol.
  • Teaching students how to say “no” while providing alternatives to drug use
  • Teaching students decision-making skills and about the consequences of their behavior
  • Building students’ self-esteem and teaching them to resist peer pressure.

For more information about our local DARE program contact:

Sgt. Cynthia Guest at 574-245-6263 or cguest@sjcpd.org