In September of 1990, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office under the leadership of Sheriff Don Hathaway became the first law enforcement agency to successfully implement the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in Caddo Parish schools. Since its inaugural year, the D.A.R.E. program has transitioned to become the premier drug awareness and health program used in the majority of schools throughout Caddo Parish.
Under the current leadership of Sheriff Steve Prator, the CPSO D.A.R.E. program has expanded its presence beyond the classrooms and into the communities of Caddo Parish. In the beginning, the CPSO D.A.R.E. program had one full-time and two part-time instructors. Today, there are two full-time and two part-time instructors who are members of the CPSO Youth Services Division. In addition to teaching the D.A.R.E. curriculum, the D.A.R.E. officers of Caddo are recognized as full-time deputy sheriffs who perform various duties within the organization such as investigations, camp coordinators, task force members, and supervisory positions. These fine men and women are involved in community service projects such as Boys Scouts, participation in parades, various safety presentations and have received several accolades for their service to the D.A.R.E. program, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Caddo Parish, and the state of Louisiana.
The CPSO D.A.R.E. program offers both visitation lessons (Pre-K through 4th grade) and core lessons (5th grade). The D.A.R.E. core lessons are designed to address topics such as the health effects of using tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana; recognizing peer pressure; effective communication styles; building healthy friendship foundations; and bullying. The goal of each D.A.R.E. officer is to ensure that every student who graduates from the program receives the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy choices and decisions.
In the fall of 2013, the D.A.R.E. “Keepin It Real” elementary curriculum will be debut in all Caddo Parish schools. New topics added to the 10-lesson curriculum will include dealing with stressful situations, risk and consequences, and helping others.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office D.A.R.E. instructors teach at the following listed schools: