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History of the D.A.R.E. Program
Early in 1983, it was apparent that stopping the supply and abuse of illegal drugs was a nearly impossible task. The demand for illicit drugs from all levels of society was increasing dramatically. Children were becoming involved in the drug culture at earlier ages and in greater numbers than ever before.

In order to educate elementary school age children to the consequences of drug abuse, and ultimately stop the demand for illegal drugs, the Los Angeles Police Department (L.A.P.D.) and the Los Angeles Unified School District (L.A.U.S.D.) combined forces to develop a drug abuse prevention program.

During the development of the curriculum, numerous drug abuse education programs were examined. As a result of this study, an innovative cooperative L.A.P.D./L.A.U.S.D. drug abuse prevention program entitled "Drug Abuse Resistance Education" (D.A.R.E.) was developed.

The program equips fifth and sixth grade students with the life skills for resisting peer pressure to experiment with drugs and alcohol. The curriculum of this program focuses on techniques of peer pressure resistance, self-management skills, self-concept improvement and value decisions concerning respect for the law and personal safety.

D.A.R.E. Pilot Program
Commencing in September of 1983, a pilot program began with ten L.A.P.D. Officers assigned as Substance Abuse Instructors in Los Angeles city schools. Prior to entering the classroom, each of these Officer/Instructors participated in an eighty-hour training course which included curriculum on teaching techniques as well as elementary school operations, preparations of visual aids, Officer-School relationships, development of self-esteem, peer pressure resistance techniques, narcotic recognition, communication skills, child development and classroom evaluations.

When teaching the curriculum to the fifth and sixth grade students, the Officer Instructors teach from structured lesson plans developed by L.A.U.S.D. Curriculum Specialists. In addition to their teaching assignments, the Officer\Instructors have been given the responsibility of introducing an abbreviated lesson plan to students in grades K through 4. The officers also network with the school principals and teachers to provide parenting skills and drug abuse prevention techniques at parent meetings in each school.

In the 1984-85 school year, a pilot program at the junior high level was initiated. In response to requests for the D.A.R.E. Program, a modified D.A.R.E. curriculum was developed and made available to private and parochial schools not receiving the D.A.R.E. program.

The State of California, through the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, awarded D.A.R.E. a $478,000 grant for five years to develop drug abuse prevention education in schools. Funds from this grant enabled D.A.R.E. to provide Officer/Instructor training to representatives from law enforcement agencies across the state.

Deputy Sheriff Robert Turner portrait.

D.A.R.E. Program in Allen Parish
The D.A.R.E. program in Allen Parish was started in 1985 by Sheriff Claiborne Durio. The Program has been supported by every Sheriff since its inception. A P.O.S.T. certified Deputy Sheriff is placed in charge of the program which he or she becomes responsible for the teaching and training of and about the program. The program is taught in all six of the schools in the parish by two deputies which is a conjoining effort put forth by The Allen Parish Sheriff's Office and the Allen Parish School Board. The schedule is approved by the National D.A.R.E. program and then approved by the Sheriff. The Deputy in charge of the Program is Lt. Robert Turner, who has been with the Allen Parish Sheriff's office since 2006, but Deputy Turner is a veteran of law enforcement in the fact that he has been in law enforcement since 2003, serving in other agencies before coming to his home at the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office. Deputy Turner was a graduate of the National D.A.R.E. academy in 2007 at which time he became the administrator and teacher of the Allen Parish D.A.R.E. program. Deputy Turner is a native of Oakdale, Louisiana, but has a great love of our children in the parish as he spends the majority of his time with the children of all age groups in the schools as to be a positive role model to children of the parish.

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