The Problem

America's drug epidemic is costlier and more dangerous than ever. Seventy percent of violent crime and 90 percent of property crime in the U.S. are now drug related. Drug Abuse also takes an astounding toll on the American economy, costing an estimated $400 billion a year. All of us pay the price. Despite millions of arrests and the routine confiscation of tons of narcotics, 23 million Americans currently use illegal drugs. It is clear that law enforcement efforts alone are not enough to overcome this pervasive problem

Demand reduction, especially among young people is vital,. We must educate our children and give them the tool they need to resist peer pressure to use illegal drugs and alcohol, join gangs and participate in violence. Most importantly, we must help them build and maintain self-esteem

The Program

The DARE program in the Natchez/Adams County School District concentrates on developing self esteem and self respect and the knowledge to recognize, and resist peer pressure to drug use and other crimes (gang activity, drug abuse, consequences) and the various ways to say "NO". The course is taught to elementary students at Morgantown Elementary School, Fraizer Elementary School, McLauren Elementary School, West Primary Elementary School, Trinity Elementary School, and Cathedral Elementary School.

The Creation of D.A.R.E

D.A.R.E. was started in Los Angeles, California in 1983 . The D.A.R.E. curriculum was a joint effort between the LA School District and the LA Police Department. The curriculum was written not only by officers but by Educators as well.

D.A.R.E. is taught by certified law enforcement officers who go into the schools and teach a 17-week curriculum to 5/6th graders.

The Natchez Police Department currently does not have a Dare officer.