HCSO hosts first DARE graduation in over two decades
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has reinstituted their D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. On Friday, they hosted the inaugural graduation ceremony for D.A.R.E. at East Hamilton Middle School.
The sheriff’s office said roughly 80 students graduated from this program.
This was the first D.A.R.E. program hosted by the HCSO in over two decades.
Sheriff Garrett gave the following statement on the reinstitution of the D.A.R.E. program:
As part of my vision as Sheriff, I am pleased to see this program re-instituted in our public schools. My administration understands the value of this safety program and the importance it plays in not only reducing drug addiction in children, but the many other important lessons and values it teaches our young people. With the unprecedented number of overdose deaths we are seeing across our state and our nation, along with the increase in juvenile violence, there could not be a more important time to reinstitute the DARE Program in our local schools. We must give our young people the tools they need to educate themselves about the dangers of illegal and prescription drug abuse and avoiding peer pressure by promoting respectful conduct, civility, and behavior.
In addition, HCSO chose just two schools last year for the pilot locations for this program, because their school resource deputy requested to go through the training to become a D.A.R.E. instructor.
D.A.R.E. began in 1983. The sheriff’s office says thousands of schools have implemented the program across the nation and in many other countries as well. Law enforcement officers lead the program. They teach various skills to children from kindergarten through 12th grade:
- Resisting peer pressure.
- Living drug- and violence-free lives.
- Avoiding involvement with drugs and gangs.
- Staying free from substance abuse.
- Including a mental health component.