Cincinnati D.A.R.E. program ending

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The anti-drug program D.A.R.E. is over "effective immediately," according to Cincinnati Police.

Cincinnati D.A.R.E. officers like Michelle Richmond teach fifth graders the importance of making good decisions and the dangers of drugs.

"I want them to walk away and know the consequences both positive and negative of their choices," said Richmond last November.

Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig has cut D.A.R.E. programming in all local schools. FOX19 was sent a letter from one school informing parents that the program was cut without advanced notice. The document states the officer "was not able to come in and collect the students' D.A.R.E. essays," and is unable to attend graduation as she "will be on duty."

"I think the D.A.R.E. program actually works, you have well educated and trained police officers that come to the schools and they put a lot of effort into that," said Herb Winston a parent of two D.A.R.E. graduates from College Hill.

However, that effort is difficult to prove as studies suggest the program is a waste of time and money. According to a Governmental Accountability Office report from 2003, there has been "no statistically significant long-term effect on preventing youth illicit drug use."

"It improves on relationships with families and things of that nature, communications with parents and teachers and things of that nature but I don't believe they collected enough data to substantiate their findings," said Cameron Foster with the Alcoholism Council.

Ohio is not alone in removing D.A.R.E. programs. Across the nation, states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii have also seen their D.A.R.E. programs cut due to budgetary issues and other priorities.

Cincinnati Police Department did not confirm why the program was cut but Chief Craig did announce an increase in patrol officers on the street.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was founded in Los Angeles in 1983.

Copyright 2012 FOX19. All rights reserved.

Related Stories: