Deputy Andrew Pederson, Pope County Sheriff’s Office, recently became certified D.A.R.E. officer and will be joining Eric Thesing for Pope County.  

Minnesota D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) welcomed 16 newly certified D.A.R.E. officers from the 50th class trained in Minnesota. These officers recently completed their two weeks of training conducted by D.A.R.E. America and hosted by Minnesota D.A.R.E. and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 

After a pause in training due to Covid 19 Minnesota D.A.R.E. set up the first of two officer training sessions (next training is scheduled for July) scheduled to get current programs back up and expand to areas that lost their programming due to challenging times. These officers are trained in Pre-K – 4th Grade programming, Elementary programming, Middle School programming, High School programming,and Enhancement Lessons – Vaping, Opiates and other Drugs, Suicide Prevention, Bullying/Cyberbullying, Gangs and Violence, Role Models and, soon to be released, Social Media.

The D.A.R.E. Officer training is very intense and comprehensive. Officers must attend, participate and pass classes hosted by specially trained mentors under the direction of D.A.R.E. America. Officers are then given the D.A.R.E. curriculum at no charge and will continue to be supported in their teaching efforts by Minnesota D.A.R.E., Inc., the non-profit organization that administers the program for the State of Minnesota. These officers will be joining the currently certified officers, instructing approximately 60,000 students and their families annually.

Minnesota D.A.R.E. is a prevention education program and the largest community policing program in Minnesota, advocating and educating for healthy and safe children. D.A.R.E. serves young people and their families, teaching the skills to make positive decisions, providing education on safe and healthy lifestyles, and giving the tools to enable them to resist engaging in negative and violent behaviors.