Mayor Michael Sean Markey


1. Briefly describe the structure of the program.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is a 17-week curriculum that is designed to help children develop the confidence, self-esteem and decision-making skills necessary to resist the peer pressures associated with drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. does more than just teach kids how to say no. It makes them aware of the specific consequences of drug use, violence, and gang life. It also teaches them to understand both the subtle and overt pressures they will face as they grow up. D.A.R.E. offers alternative methods for coping with peer pressure and the stresses of growing up. In the closing weeks of the D.A.R.E. classes, each student writes a personal essay expressing their heartfelt commitment to remain drug, violence, and gang free. These essays are shared during culmination ceremonies where individual students are recognized for their dedication to D.A.R.E.

In 1992 the Thousand Oaks (CA) Police Department introduced the D.A.R.E. program onto the intermediate school campuses. This eight week program is taught by uniformed officers to all eighth grade students. Subjects include Conflict Resolution, Positive Role Models, Being Responsible, Community Pride, Forming Friendships, Risky Behavior, and Managing Time.

2. When was the program created and why?

The D.A.R.E. program was introduced to Conejo Valley (Ventura County, CA) schools in June 1986. It was implemented to address the high number of youths that were becoming involved in drugs, gangs, and violent acts.

3. How do you measure the program’s effectiveness?

The Conejo Valley Unified School District began surveying students on a bi-annual basis in 1981. Seventh, ninth, and eleventh grade students are surveyed regarding the extent and type of drug use among students in the district. The students participate voluntarily and anonymously. The survey is designed and analyzed by Dr. Rodney Skager of UCLA. Since the implementation of D.A.R.E., the surveys have shown that the program has significantly helped to decrease drug use among teens.

The most surprising result of the D.A.R.E. program is its ability to influence youth, creating a positive attitude towards law enforcement. The officers’ presence on the school campuses has resulted in those officers being seen as positive role models.

4. How is the program financed?

D.A.R.E. is provided to Conejo Valley Unified Schools at no cost to the school district. The City of Thousand Oaks funds the salaries of the two Deputy Sheriff’s who teach the program, and purchase the students’ workbooks. Other expenditures associated with the D.A.R.E. program (culmination certificates, recognition awards, students’ t-shirts, etc.) are paid for through the D.A.R.E. Trust Fund. This trust fund is made possible through the generous support of the Thousand Oaks community. During the 1995-96 school year, nearly $14,000.00 in special awards and program incentives were purchased for the students participating in the D.A.R.E. program.

5. How is the community involved in the program?

D.A.R.E. is taught to over 3600 students, at twenty-eight schools throughout the Conejo Valley. Thousands more are influenced by the D.A.R.E. Officers at the numerous public events they attend throughout the year. Parents and educators are also an important part of the program. D.A.R.E. is a Community Policing program that depends on community involvement to assure its success.

6. Contact person:

Deputy Greg Sharp, or Deputy Eric Hatlee, (805) 371-8351

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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