YOUTH RECREATION PROGRAM
Each year, the Sheriff’s Office sponsors a Youth Recreation Program for area children ages 6 to 14. The camp is staffed by deputies and volunteers from the community. During the session, the campers do arts and crafts projects, are instructed in computer skills, participate in sporting activities, go on field trips, and are taught life skills.
Each year, from October thru April, the Sheriff’s Office sponsors a Biddy Basketball Program for children 6-14 years of age. During the camp, deputies and community volunteers teach the participants basketball skills and the rules of the game. The participants then apply these lessons during actual competitions.
D.A.R.E. (DRUG ABUSE RESISTANCE EDUCATION)
This year, millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E., the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation’s school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. The D.A.R.E. curriculum is designed to be taught by police officers whose training and experience gave them the background needed to answer the sophisticated questions often posed by young students about drugs and crime. Prior to entering the D.A.R.E. program, officers undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills. Forty hours of additional training are provided to D.A.R.E. instructors to prepare them to teach the high school curriculum. D.A.R.E. is universally viewed as an internationally recognized model of community policing. The United States Department of Justice has identified how D.A.R.E. benefits local communities:
- D.A.R.E. “humanizes” the police: that is, young people can begin to relate to officers as people
- D.A.R.E. permits students to see officers in a helping role, not just an enforcement role
- D.A.R.E. opens lines of communication between law enforcement and youth
- D.A.R.E. officers can serve as conduits to provide information beyond drug-related topics
- D.A.R.E. opens dialogue between the school, police, and parents to deal with other issues