Date set for D.A.R.E. tribute
The third week of November 2012 is the annual Drug Awareness Week in British Columbia. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the Commanding Officer of "E" Division, has declared November 21 as D.A.R.E. Day to honor the work of over 250 uniformed police officers who teach the internationally recognized Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) program to thousands of British Columbian school children each year.
"We are extremely proud of our D.A.R.E. officers. They spend countless hours working with school children to equip them with the information and skills they need to make safe and responsible choices," Deputy Commissioner Callens said. As these children grow to be responsible citizens, they will lead healthier and more productive drug-free lives."
RCMP Chief Superintendent Janice Armstrong, the Deputy Criminal Operations Core Policing Officer of "E" Division, said, “D.A.R.E. has been very successful since we began teaching it here over a decade ago. It has become the foundation of the RCMP's Community Prevention Education Continuum (CPEC), a community-lead, police-assisted comprehensive youth drug-prevention strategy, encompassing youth from Kindergarten through Grade 12.”
RCMP Chief Superintendent Mark Fleming, the Federal Deputy Criminal Operations Officer of "E" Division, acknowledged the contribution of the D.A.R.E. BC Society, a registered charitable organization which partnered with the RCMP to establish the D.A.R.E. program in BC. D.A.R.E. BC raises funds to cover the cost of student learning resources so that the program can be offered free to all students. The resources cost approximately $10 per student and the funds are raised mostly from service clubs, socially responsible businesses, and individuals who want to help school children make safe and healthy choices.
D.A.R.E. BC President Greg Tedesco thanked the RCMP and other police agencies for teaching the program to students in 800 schools located in 97 communities throughout British Columbia during the past school year. He said the program not only benefits individual students, but also has a positive impact on families and communities generally. He pointed out that drug and alcohol use is one of society's most corrosive social problems that often begins early in life while children are still in school. He said, "Many youth who use drugs and alcohol see their marks drop, become less motivated and are more likely to skip and/or drop out of school and are more likely to engage in other risky behaviour. D.A.R.E. helps youth to avoid taking risks, to make good choices and to thrive."