Pubdate: Sun, 29 Nov 2009
Source: Eastern Arizona Courier (AZ)
Copyright: 2009 Eastern Arizona Courier
Author: Jon Johnson, Assistant Editor
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


In an effort to help curb the use of drugs and receive use from a
vehicle that was only gathering dust at the county yard, Graham County
Sheriff P.J. Allred donated the county's Drug Abuse Resistance
Education Bronco to the Willcox Police Department on Monday.

Willcox school resource/D.A.R.E. officer Rose Juarez-Lacey and Willcox
Police Chief Jake Weaver met with Allred and accepted the donation.
The Willcox officers thanked Allred for his generosity and support for
the D.A.R.E. program, especially during hard economic times.

Juarez-Lacey has been a D.A.R.E. officer for 19 years and served 13
years as the D.A.R.E. officer for Graham County. She left the county
to work for the Arizona State Department of Liquor in 2005.

Juarez-Lacey was responsible for originally getting the Bronco donated
from Phelps Dodge. Several other local businesses also donated items
to outfit the vehicle.

"The entire community built the truck," she said.

Since becoming the school resource officer for Willcox, she has
restarted the city's D.A.R.E. program after a 10-year hiatus. Some of
the high school students she teaches the program to are the same
students she taught in the Bonita School District when she worked for
Graham County.

Allred said the county's funding for a D.A.R.E. officer was cut a few
years ago and it doesn't appear it will be available anytime soon. He
felt the Bronco should go to good use rather than just sit at the
county yard, and felt Juarez-Lacey and the Willcox Police Department
would be able to utilize it.

"It's a symbol to show the kids," Juarez-Lacey said. "When they see
the truck, it's a symbol to them, and they're like, 'Oh, I know what
D.A.R.E. stands for. It means to stay away from drugs.' "

Chief Weaver thanked Allred and the county for the donation and said
the vehicle will be a fine addition to the program.

"This will be a great addition to a program we think is very
worthwhile in our community, across the state of Arizona and across
the nation," Weaver said. 
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