DARE is currently taught at the following schools: Park, Brockbank, Rees, Larsen, Canyon, East Meadows, Spanish Oaks, Sierra Bonita, Riverview and ALA. Officers build ties with the children as they spend time with them each week and these ties last far beyond students' school years. DARE Officers assigned to schools are: Bryan DeWitt, Tyler Beddoes, Clint Peterson, Clay Hooley and Jared Warner. These officers, with the cooperation of Nebo School District, surround themselves and their students with lessons on the following DARE curriculum:
- 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. If you see one of our DARE officers working an activity such as Fiesta Days or other public activities you will surely see a young DARE student seeking out the officer that came to their class when they were in fifth grade. One of the biggest rewards our DARE officers get is when the students come up and tell them how they are doing.
Here is some comments from the local DARE officers:
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."
Officer Clay Hooley:
"DARE has been a special opportunity to work with our young ones throughout the community and something I am very proud to be a part of. Being able to go in our local schools and work with the students as been an eye opener to see and realize just how promising the future of Spanish Fork is. In many ways I have learned more from the kids than they have from me. However it is been my privilege to share the DARE message with all the children I have come in contact with. I look forward to continue to work with the children and teachers of Spanish Fork."
Officer Tyler Beddoes:
"DARE has been an amazing experience. I look forward to walking into those classrooms each week and seeing our youth smiling and looking forward to hearing the lesson. I am amazed how incredible, smart and dedicated these kids are in their willingness to learn and make the right choices in life. The relationship I have developed with these kids has been special and they really develop an appreciation and trust for you. DARE is a great program and I look forward to teaching DARE each and every week because the youth are such an important part of our community and future."
Officer Clint Peterson:
"DARE has been a great opportunity for me to escape the sometimes negative parts of law enforcement. Being in the schools and teaching children has been a fun, challenging and very rewarding opportunity. My time in the classroom has helped me become a better father and officer all around. I have loved building strong relationships with the students. It excites me to have a hand in changing public perception of police officers, showing students and teachers that police officers are normal people too. DARE has allowed me to teach, learn and educate kids from all different backgrounds and home lives. My favorite thing about DARE is seeing my students outside the schools in their neighborhoods and around town. It is incredibly rewarding to hear parents tell me I made a difference in their child's life. I enjoy sharing my experiences in law enforcement and first hand real world consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. I love to keep class light and fun still teaching about tools they can use in life. I still remember my DARE officer and hope my students remember the positive interactions I have with them."
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.