Pubdate: Wed, 01 Aug 2001
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 2001 Cox Interactive Media.
Author: Christopher Quinn


DARE Is Dropping Out Of Most Cherokee County Public Schools.

It's a victim of growth.

Sheriff Roger Garrison told school officials he needs the two 
deputies who teach the Drug Awareness and Resistance Education 
classes back on the street.

His department answered 77,000 calls last year. That is expected to 
top out at 80,000 this year, he said.

"We simply don't have a choice," Garrison said Tuesday. "I view it as 
an issue of officer safety. We need to keep them on the street and 
maintain proper backup for officers so someone doesn't get killed."

Woodstock and Holly Springs will continue to provide police officers 
for DARE at schools in those cities. The schools will continue to 
offer education about drug abuse as part of health classes on all 
levels, a school spokesman said.

The county had about 90,000 residents in 1990 and 142,000 in 2000, 
according to the census. Garrison has requested new money from the 
county for more officers every year since 1997 but has not gotten it. 
Cherokee also is in the process of building a new $30 million jail 
and will need officers to staff it when it opens next year.

The DARE program started in 1994 with four officers but had been cut 
to two recently.

Gwinnett County police dropped DARE in 1997, citing manpower 
shortages. The Henry County Sheriff's Department dropped the 17-week 
program last year and substituted its own seven-week drug education 
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