In 1983, facing an overwhelming drug problem among juveniles, the Los Angeles Police Department under the
direction of Chief Daryl Gates, decided a new approach to fighting drug use was needed.

The Los Angeles Police Department worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District and created a program for
5th and 6th grade students. The program is called D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

At the beginning and for a 20 year span the program was designed as a 17 week course and is taught by a
uniformed police officer. The D.A.R.E. officer normally goes into the school once a week and teaches an hour-long
class. The classes are conducted in the student’s classrooms, so they can have more contact with the police officer.
The course is based on a structured curriculum and covers such topics as drug use and misuse, consequences of
behavior, resisting peer pressure, ways to say no, increasing self-esteem, media images of drug use, positive role
models, and support systems. The course was successful and well accepted in the Los Angeles community. From
there, the D.A.R.E. Program slowly began spreading across the country. D.A.R.E. is now being taught in every state
in the United States and is also being taught in foreign countries. The D.A.R.E. program was turned into a non-profit
corporation to help keep the program regulated. The program is standardized, so no matter where a student takes
the D.A.R.E course in the country, they receive the same information.

In 2004 the Dare Program curriculum was re-evaluated and changed with the help of Dare America and the
University of Michigan and changed to a 10 week program consisting of several of the original topics found in the
initial curriculum.

D.A.R.E. is dedicated to providing our young people with assistance in making good decisions!          
Columbia County Sheriff's Office
David P. Bartlett, SHERIFF                     John W. Davi, UNDERSHERIFF
Copyright ©2006 Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Hudson, NY 12534

In Columbia County, approximately 1000 students graduate from the program each year.  DARE is a way for
police officers to interact in a positive manner to provide young people with resources to help them make
good decisions when confronted with drug and alcohol use.

It is not uncommon for students who participated in DARE in the early 90s and who is now a young adult
and/or parent, to approach a Deputy Sheriff with a story of how a lesson learned in DARE helped them in an
uncomfortable situation.    

As an intricate part of positive contact with young people in our communities, the DARE Program will
continue to be offered by the Sheriff's Office in future years.   The DARE Officer for the Sheriff's Office is
Deputy Sheriff Wendy Guntert, (518) 828-0601 x 1411.