DARE program coming to an end in Hamilton

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - After 15 years, the DARE program is coming to an end in Hamilton. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education will not be offered to students in both public and private schools.

"Parents we need all the back up support we can get from the community and I think it's a real shame," said Lynn McCaughey, a parent of two DARE graduates. "I do understand but it will still be something that will be missed next year."

Hamilton Police Officer Kristy Collins has taught the program for 12 years.

"I wouldn't have been doing it this long if I didn't think it worked," said Collins. "So I really think it will be a bad thing with the program being gone."

The Hamilton Police Department has made cuts over the last several years, meaning less officers on the streets. Collins says the department can't afford having someone in the schools on a regular basis.

It's a decision many police departments are having to make. So now the question is how do schools replace such education?

"We'll just have to look at the specific lessons and see if it something we can blend in with our regular curriculum," said Joni Copas, spokesperson for the Hamilton City School District. "It definitely won't have the impact it did having an outside police officer coming into the classroom but we'll see if we can forward some of that in there."

Collins will conduct her last DARE graduation on Thursday, May 31 at Ridgeway Elementary School.

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