Pubdate: Wed, 02 Sep 2009
Source: Waco Tribune-Herald (TX)
Copyright: 2009 Waco-Tribune Herald
Author: Regina Dennis, Staff Writer


After announcing that the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program
would be suspended for at least a semester in county schools, McLennan
County Sheriff Larry Lynch said the DARE program will continue this
school year after all.

The reversal came as the county commissioners court prepared to remove
$200,000 from the 2010 budget that funds the program and the salaries
of the deputies who teach drug resistance education, County Judge Jim
Lewis said Tuesday.

Lewis said Lynch had sent the commissioners court a memo Friday
stating that the program would be reinstated this semester. Lynch had
mailed letters to school districts in the county the week before
stating that DARE would be suspended indefinitely, but the court had
not been previously informed of that decision.

"If the program had not been continued, then I was prepared to cut the
$200,000 funding out of the budget," Lewis said Tuesday after the
court approved the county's budget. "We were not going to set aside
funding for DARE if they weren't going to be doing it, and I guess he
figured that out and changed his mind (about suspending the program)."

Lynch said during a budget workshop last week that the three DARE
deputies were to continue handling other sheriff's office duties they
had taken on when school recessed for the summer, such as courthouse
security, patrols and inmate transport.

The sheriff's office had requested 11 new positions for the 2010
budget to handle what Lynch had described as an increased workload,
but the commissioners court denied those requests.

Lynch did not say how the sheriff's office will manage the duties the
DARE officers had been temporarily assigned to.

"We were able to move some things around and make some adjustments to
handle those things. And that is all I am going to say about that,"
Lynch said before abruptly ending a telephone interview.

Lynch said the DARE deputies were reassigned to their schools Monday.
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