In the early 1980s America got its first taste of the war on drugs. Drug use, gang activity and violence were on the rise, and the increased use of cocaine and crack cocaine was blamed. It didn’t take long for parents, teachers and police departments across the nation to recognize the need for early intervention.
The theory was to educate the youth of America, show them the devastating and life-altering consequences of drugs and violence, and offer them positive and productive alternatives . In 1983, the Los Angeles Police Department spearheaded a local program called DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).
The program was founded and led by Chief Daryl F. Gates and 10 LAPD officers. They formatted an approach to educate students in a classroom setting. Since its introduction in 1983, DARE has proved to be so successful that is has been adopted and implemented in more than 75 percent of the nation’s schools grades K-12, and in more than 43 countries , according to the organization’s website.
The program, run entirely by trained and certified police officers, teaches the students the essential skills to avoid drugs, gangs, peer pressure and violence.
Officer David Krumm, a seven-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department, has been running the local program for four years. Krumm, who also serves as the schools’ police officer for the Clark County School District, has been following the certified DARE curriculum, educating the students every week throughout the school year.
On May 23, fifth-grade students at Martha P. King Elementary School will be celebrating their program graduation. The students will be recognized individually at a formal graduation with teachers, staff, parents and friends attending. After the graduation the students have been invited to spend the rest of the day celebrating their achievements at the park.
There will be a live extrication demonstration presented by the Boulder City Fire Department in association with an Air Life ambulance and Boulder City Hospital. Students will get an opportunity to meet members of the police and fire departments, Flight for Life air crews and Forestry Division members.
Students will be able to talk with the different crews, and have the opportunity to look at the departments’ trucks, cars and helicopters .
The students will have the rest of the afternoon to partake in the different events scheduled by Krumm. There will be volleyball and other games in the park and a barbecue. Prizes will be raffled later that afternoon.
DARE has a proven track record in Boulder City. As the students get older the pressures to partake in underage drinking and illicit drug use increase.
The Boulder City Police and Fire departments encourage parents and family members to get involved and keep a proactive approach to keeping their children safe.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me at the fire station at 293-9228, or contact Krumm at the Boulder City Police Station at 293-9224.
Brian Shea is a Boulder City paramedic/firefighter. If you have further questions about this or any fire safety issue, contact the Boulder City Fire Department at 293-9228.