History of D.A.R.E. in Le Mars
Plans to bring D.A.R.E. to Le Mars began in the summer of 1995. Then Chief of Police, Casey Stengel, was looking for a program that would help Law Enforcement get involved with the kids of our community in an educational and friendly way instead of in a court room when 1 of the children got in trouble. Chief Stengel retired before the program started but the present Chief of Police, Stuart Dekkenga, saw the potential for the D.A.R.E. program.
Working with the schools, a plan was made for the implementation of the program. Senior Officer Jay King was sent to D.A.R.E. Officer Training held by D.A.R.E. Iowa. Officer King has said that the training turned out to be the best training he has ever received in his 20 years in law enforcement.
The D.A.R.E. core program 1st entered the schools in the fall of 1996 with 230 5th grade students participating. The program was well received by the children and teachers alike. The teachers and counselors in the schools provide the D.A.R.E. Officer with advice and techniques for reaching the children and reinforcing the lessons that the D.A.R.E. Officer teaches.
The D.A.R.E. program is now set to begin its 3rd year in Le Mars. It has expanded from just classroom lessons to include many positive alternative activities for the children. The children can participate in:
They are also given the chance to take a trip to Adventureland in the summer.
Future of the Program
D.A.R.E. Le Mars hopes to expand its programs by introducing a D.A.R.E. Parent Class in the future.
Support & Thanks
D.A.R.E. Le Mars would not be possible if not for the people of Le Mars. Every year businesses and citizens reach into their pockets and donate to the program. Without their generosity there would be no program.
A special thanks needs to go to Shari Sitzmann. Shari is a one-woman army who takes care of the fundraising and the bill paying. Shari has been involved in D.A.R.E. Le Mars since it was created. She works non-stop to help make sure that the program has what it needs to help reach the children of our community to help stop the abuse of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
The D.A.R.E. Box
Do you have a question that you would like answered? Don't be afraid to ask your D.A.R.E. Officer. You can ask your question in class or email the Police Department D.A.R.E. Box. Your questions will be answered as soon as possible.