The Chesterfield Police Department has been involved in delivering the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in area schools since shortly after the inception of the department in June 1989.
The D.A.R.E. program is a ten-week life skills program taught to 5th or 6th graders by specially trained police officers. Since its inception in 1983, the D.A.R.E. program has been taught to millions of children, in all 50 states and in several countries. To date, over 12,000 children have graduated from Chesterfield's core D.A.R.E. program.
The D.A.R.E. lessons help children build self-esteem, manage stress, foresee behavioral consequences, resist pro-drug media messages, and identify alternatives to drug use. It doesn't just tell them to say "no", it teaches them how to say "no."
The primary goal of D.A.R.E. is to prevent substance abuse among school age children by:
- Providing students with accurate information about alcohol and drugs;
- Teaching students ways to say "No" to drugs while providing alternatives to drug use;
- Teaching students decision making skills and the consequences of their behavior; and
- Building students' self-esteem while teaching them how to resist peer pressure