COMBATING SCHOOL VIOLENCE TRUANCY PROGRAM, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM, AND D.A.R.E.
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The City of Monroe and the Monroe Police Department has developed three approaches to reduce this problem in our schools. The first program is a Truancy program whereby officers of this department serve the school system for the entire year searching for absent students and returning them to the schools each day. This program keeps these kids off the streets and in the classroom where they can be supervised at least during the school hours. The department recognized that if the kids are not in school, they are probably causing problems for the city on the streets. This program reduces our crimes of burglary and theft and because of the supervision in the schools, the violence does not occur on the streets.
The second approach is a vigorous educational program provided by the police department. The department has a full time crime prevention officer who visits the schools on a regular basis to educate and inform the students on a multitude of problems and offers the students alternatives
The third approach is the D.A.R.E. program in the schools. The department has two officers assigned to teach this program to the 6th graders as well as visitation to the younger students, junior high and high school classes. D.A.R.E. has been very successful drug and alcohol awareness program which is now in its 12th year. Itís success is difficult to measure since we are looking at the number of students that have avoided substance abuse rather than those that have been brought into the criminal justice system.
The department is now embarking on another training program called "When Bookbags Become Holsters". This training program will be held during the first week in September 1998. Police and school officials have been invited to attend to learn about ways to reduce violence in the schools. It is the first school of this type in the state where this problem is being addressed. Law enforcement and school officials will learn about the problem and learn ways to prevent occurrences. It is also designed to develop closer ties with school officials and police.
2. When were these programs created and why?
Some of these programs have been in effect for the past twenty years such as the crime prevention program. D.A.R.E. has been in effect for the past 12 years and the truancy program for the past five years. The department feel that each of the programs has had its own impact on the school kids of the community and the combination of all of these programs has delivered its impact on the community as a whole. Our training program recently developed to combat violence in the schools is a response to violence in the schools, which has occurred around the country. The department does not want this type of violence to raise its ugly head in our community and we are looking for ways to prevent this type of occurrence. Strengthening our ties with the school system will greatly reduce the chances of occurrences.
3. How do you measure the programsí effectiveness?
These programs do not have a specific measure to determine their effectiveness. The department does maintain complaints regarding specific violence in the school system. However, the true measure is the lack of calls for service to the school concerning violence. The department does not have any significant complaints regarding violence in the Monroe City School System.
4. How is the program financed?
The federal government sponsors the D.A.R.E. program via state allocations. The truancy program is funded through the department as well as the crime prevention program. The department is co-sponsoring the training program dealing with violence in the schools. A registration fee will offset the cost of this program.
5. How is the community involved in the program? How has the community responded to the program?
Community participation is somewhat limited to these programs. The D.A.R.E. program does have participation by the community by supporting the kids through homework assignments and participation in various events sponsored by the D.A.R.E. officers. All responses from the community have been very positive.
6. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.