Pubdate: Sat, 02 Aug 2008
Source: Register Citizen (CT)
Copyright: 2008 Register Citizen
Author: Les Wilson


To the editor:

The annual D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education)  car show in
Torrington is the best in the area, with a  huge, wonderful variety of
rare vehicles. Friday's  cruise was a great success, judging by the
large crowds  it drew. However, the D.A.R.E. program itself is a
dismal failure and a waste of tax money.

According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), the  politically
popular program has had "no statistically  significant long-term
effect on preventing youth  illicit drug use." In addition, students
who  participate in D.A.R.E. demonstrate "no significant
differences... [in] attitudes toward illicit drug use  [or] resistance
to peer pressure" compared to children  who had not been exposed to
the program." Such  criticism has plagued D.A.R.E. throughout its
25-year  history, yet police departments continue to promote the
failed program at the expense of effective law  enforcement because it
is a cash cow, providing  hundreds of millions of dollars in state and
federal  aid, paid by taxpayers.

Torrington needs full-duty officers on the streets now  to combat the
growing number of burglaries and other  crimes the city is facing.
Yet, as reported in The  Register Citizen ("More police needed to
combat rising  crime in Torrington," Aug. 15, 2008) 22 percent of the
Torrington Police Department's 77 officers are not  working at all,
for various reasons. Perhaps it's time  Torrington Police Chief Robert
Milano dares to face the  truth about D.A.R.E. by giving taxpayers a
break and  putting police officers engaged in the sham program  back
on the street where they can do some good.


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