D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a collaborative effort by DARE certified law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents and community to offer an educational program in the classroom to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among children and youth. The emphasis of DARE is to help students recognize and resist the many direct and subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, or other drugs or to engage in violence.
The DARE program offers preventive strategies to enhance those protective factors – especially bonding to the family, school and community – which appears to foster the development of resiliency in young people who may be at risk for substance abuse or other problem behaviors. Researchers have identified certain protective and social bonding factors in the family, school, and community, which may foster resiliency in young people, in other words, the capacity of young people for healthy, independent growth in spite of adverse conditions. These strategies focus on the development of social competence, communication skills, self-esteem, empathy, decision-making, conflict resolution, sense of purpose and independence, and positive alternative activities to drug abuse and other destructive behaviors.
Officer Aaron Hopper was assigned DARE Officer August 1, 2008 for the Moberly Police Department. His duties were to present the DARE program to the children in the Moberly Public Schools targeting students at the fifth grade level. Some topics covered are self-esteem, effects of drugs, peer pressure, learning to say “no” to the use of drugs.
Also on August 1, 2008 Officer Hopper became full time School Resource Office for the Moberly School District. He works with the school district’s administrators as well as students in dealing with problems that they may encounter during the school day on district property. These problems may include: thefts, motor vehicle issues, fights, disruptive students, violence in the school, verbal altercations, etc. Many times he helps students deal with issues that they face on a personal level. He also makes class presentations on various topics related to criminal laws and regulations and other issues.