FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loudoun County, VA (October 6, 2020) – For the first time in over three decades the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program will be taught online. This will be the largest virtual D.A.R.E. program in the Commonwealth of Virginia which is taught to over 6,000 elementary students in Loudoun County.
Members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Youth Services Section have been coordinating with D.A.R.E. America and Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) to develop and implement the program into a virtual format that can be taught to students online. D.A.R.E. aims to build decision-making and problem solving skills and strategies to help students make informed decisions and resist drug use, peer pressure and violence.
“As we cannot conduct in-person teaching at this time, the most important thing we can do is continue to work with the children as a community, as a school system, and as a law enforcement agency to try and educate them to make the right choices,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s has had a presence in Loudoun County schools for over three decades when the D.A.R.E program was implemented in fifth grade classrooms in 1987. As part of Sheriff Chapman’s efforts, the program was expanded to the middle schools during the 2012-2013 school year. The expansion of the program came at no extra cost as the classes were taught by current members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Unit who are assigned to county middle schools.
The LCSO D.A.R.E. program was nationally recognized in 2017 when Sheriff Chapman was named the DEA/Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Law Enforcement Executive of the Year. The award is presented to a senior law enforcement officer who epitomizes an extraordinary commitment to drug prevention and enforcement.
In 2019, the LCSO D.A.R.E. program was recognized with the Legacy Award at the 20th Annual Loudoun School-Business Partnership for the agency’s 30-year-partnership with LCPS.
The LCSO remains committed to our partnership with Loudoun County Public Schools, as the safety of our children is our top priority.