DARE is currently taught at all the local elementary schools.Our DARE officer works to build ties with the children as he spends time with them each week. These ties last far beyond a student's school years. Currently our DARE officer is Bryan DeWitt. He teaches all of the fifth grade students in Spanish Fork. Some of the lessons in the DARE curriculum include:
- Saying "No" to Tobacco
- Saying "No" to Marijuana
- Saying "No" to Alcohol
- Saying "No" to all Drugs
- Having a Positive Self-Esteem
- Dealing with Peer Pressure
- Effective Decision Making
- Dealing with the Effects of the Media
- High School Role Models (Successful local high school students come to the class to visit with the children.)
- Culmination Ceremony (Students receive a DARE shirt and certificate of completion with their parents present.)
Many professionals have argued whether the efforts of DARE are making a difference or not with our youth. Some argue that DARE is not an effective tool in keeping children off of drugs. Others will argue that DARE has a saved millions of children. You can find studies that will present evidence of both points of view. However, it is hard to argue with the fact that the fifth grade students in Spanish Fork get to see a local police officer in a positive way. This may or may not influence that child one way or another, but if we persuade just one student not to get involved in drugs then we have accomplished a great deal. It is our opinion that the relationship developed with the children and the local officers pays dividends for both the children and the Spanish Fork Police Department.
Officer Bryan DeWitt:
"DARE has been an excellent opportunity for me in Spanish Fork. Going to the schools and interacting with the children has been an opportunity that I would not change. The time spent in the classroom with the children on a weekly basis has been irreplaceable. It has allowed me to interact with the kids and have them interact with me and other officers in a fun and educational environment. Teaching DARE has been about building trust with the children in our city. It is about teaching the children the consequences that can come from our choices and from drug and alcohol abuse. My goal in teaching DARE has always been showing the kids that police officers are normal people. We always have fun in class and learn in the process. DARE has always been enjoyable for me because of the children and teachers in our schools."
DARE is funded by two government entities. First the Spanish Fork Police Department funds the program by paying the officers to teach the class as well as providing classroom material such as a workbook and pencil. The DARE shirt expense is split between the school and the police department.