DARE Effectiveness

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In deciding to ditch its DARE program, Toledo's police chief cited a 1994 report, stating the program had little effect in keeping 6th graders off drugs.

Lt. Scott Morgan, who has run the Parkersburg DARE program since 1988, disagrees. He says the local program has produced results.

"Kids who are now in high school come to talk to the sixth graders about drugs, and how they're able to keep away from that," Morgan says. "These kids I had in DARE six years ago tell me it's helped them. When they were pressured, they were able to say no."

"They do get the information they need to make the choice, says Parkersburg Police Chief Bob Newell. "Otherwise, they wouldn't get it anywhere else in most cases."

Police do say, however, that part of the program's effectiveness goes beyond what they can do with youngsters. They say it also involves parents educating youngsters to stay off drugs.

Belpre's police department has a different problem. It's DARE officer resigned earlier this year, and chief Ira Walker says a replacement won't be ready until at least next fall.

"We had one of the county DARE officers fill in the last four weeks of the program," Walker says. "We had graduation May 30, I don't think it set us back, but it did slow us down for the coming year."

Walker says that, barring financial problems, Belpre's five-year-old DARE program will continue.