D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The program was started by a former Los Angeles police chief in 1983 with 10 DARE officers. The program now has over 50,000 trained DARE officers and is taught in every state, as well as over 35 countries. DARE will reach close to 35 million students nationwide this year.
The DARE program has evolved over time from an anti-drug and anti-violence program to much more. The program also teaches life lessons to students, such as recognizing and resisting various forms of peer pressure, how to raise self esteem, making good positive alternatives to drugs and gangs. The role of the DARE officer in the school has expanded-the students not only recognize the officer as a teacher, but a role model and friend that they can trust and turn to with their problems.
The Town of Newburgh DARE program is run by Officer Laura Dunn. The core DARE program is taught to 20 5th grade classes in 5 elementary schools within the town.