Pubdate: Wed, 21 Mar 2001
Source: Source, the
Copyright: 2001 the Source
Contact:  (541) 383-0088
Address: 704 NW Georgia, Bend, OR 97701
Author: Curt Wagoner
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


To the editor,

Kudos to the SOURCE for expressing their concern over the Sheriff
wanting to bring back DARE, the so-called Drug Abuse Resistance
Education program. DARE was cofounded by former Los Angeles Police Chief
Darryl F. Gates and a former LAPD deputy chief, Glenn Levant. When
speaking before the US Senate, Chief Gates made the statement, "Casual
drug users should be taken out and shot."

We need adequate funding for our sheriff's department and I supported
the recent sheriff's levy until I read my voter pamphlet and saw where
Sheriff Stiles listed DARE as one of the services to be provided with
the money from the levy. Former Sheriff Greg Brown dumped DARE and for
all the right reasons. Its expensive, takes cops off the street and it
doesn't work.  As reported in USA Today, "a preliminary report from the
RTI -- analyzing eight studies involving 9,500 children -- says DARE has
a 'limited to essentially non-existent effect' on drug use."  Further,
the top drug official at the Department of Education says, "Research
shows that, no, DARE hasn't been effective in reducing drug use."  Last
July, Mayor Ross Anderson of Salt Lake City, Utah, cut off all funding
for DARE, calling it an "Absolute fraud."  The Salt Lake City Police
Department was spending about $289,000 annually on DARE. Any program
which spends nearly $300,000 of public funds each year should have a
clear, empirical track record of measurable success. DARE does not.
Every dollar spent on DARE is a dollar that is not being spent on an
effective alternative.

And I have to ask, why do we have law enforcement in our schools
teaching a HEALTH issue?  In 1936, Berkeley, California Police Chief
August Vollmer, while speaking before the International Association of
Chiefs of Police said, "Drug addiction is not a police problem, it never
has been and can never be solved by policemen. It is first and last a
medical problem."

As long as Sheriff Stiles wants to spend my hard earned tax dollars on
an expensive, ineffective and as some studies have shown to be
counter-productive drug education program, that was created by a chief
law enforcement officer that believes casual drug users deserve to be
taken out and shot, I'll continue to oppose the sheriff's levy and will
be actively encouraging others to do the same.

Curt Wagoner, Wickiup Junction
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