Pubdate: Wed, 13 Apr 2016
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 North Bay Nugget
Author: Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles
Page: A2


Officer-Led Program Emphasizes Good Decision Making

Knowledge is power. and Emily Hind feels powerful after graduating 
from the North Bay Police Service's dare (drug abuse resistance 
education) program Tuesday morning.

Emily, 10, said she will use the knowledge she gained when facing 
peer pressure.

Emily, a Grade 5 student at J.W. Trusler, is one of about 25 who have 
spent the past 10 weeks learning about drugs and alcohol, the harmful 
effects of tobacco, the importance of making good choices and 
confident speaking.

"There was a lot of useful information in the program," Emily said. 
"I never realized there are more than 200 dangerous chemicals in just 
one cigarette."

The officer-led program started in Los Angeles in 1983 and was 
adopted by the North Bay Police Service in 1992. The program has 
reached thousands of local elementary students.

"The local police service in LA noticed young people were heavily 
involved in drugs and violence, and the service felt the community 
would benefit from having an officer in the classroom with the 
students to help teach them," said Const. Merv Shantz.

Over the years, the program has changed to address current issues 
such as cyber bullying and internet safety.

Shantz said dare covers good decision making, bullying, stress, cyber 
bullying, internet safety and the effects of alcohol and tobacco.

"Decision making is key. These students are approaching the years of 
peer pressure and this program helps provide them with a good basis 
to make good choices," he said.

"It also provides a positive interaction between students and police officers."
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