Colorado

Apr 24, 2012 7:17 PM by Andy Koen

D.A.R.E. no more in Pueblo

The DARE program has reached it's last stop in Pueblo. The police department is ending the drug and violence resistance courses in the fall in order to put more officers out on the streets.
Captain James Gowin of the PPD's Services Bureau says the change was prompted by in-depth efficiency study conducted by KRW Associates last year.

"There's a tradeoff," Gowin said. "We only have so many resources. If you take a resource from here and you want to apply it over here, well this side loses this side gains."

The school district and the police say parents shouldn't worry about school safety because resource officers from the middle and high schools will still visit the elementaries.

"There's not a lot of serious kinds of incidents that take place at elementary schools or a lot of drug incidents at least at Pueblo City Schools," said Greg Sinn, spokesman for Pueblo City Schools.

DARE Vice President of Development John Lindsay says he understands the department's need for better efficiency, but worries Pueblo's students will lose out on valuable life skills like how to stand up to peer pressure.

"It will help them make decisions for the rest of their lives and to take that away at this age, again, I think is unfortunate."

Lindsay says DARE will release an updated elementary curriculum in June.

The DARE officers' salaries are currently split between the school district and the police department. Sinn says Pueblo City Schools should save about $140,000 in 2012-2013 school budget.

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