The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is set to become the first law enforcement agency in the country to participate in a pilot DARE program that will make use of retired officers.
DARE -- Drug Abuse Resistance Education -- is a program led by law enforcement officers that seeks to educate K-12 students about the dangers of drug use. Until now, DARE instructors have always been active-duty officers.
"I'm proud that our agency is taking the lead in the pilot program that will make DARE programs more cost-effective and accessible," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said in a statement.
DARE's Minnesota chapter will continue to look for ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its programs, according to Executive Director Kathi Ackerman. "I'm certain this common-sense approach will allow us to bring the program to many more classrooms," she said.
DARE was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles by then-Police Chief Daryl Gates, according to the organization's website. Its programs are now taught in classrooms all over the world, training students to resist peer pressure.