Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington unveiled a new car today as part of his initiative to fight the war on drugs and educate young people about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
A 2014 Chevrolet Camero was showcased today at W.T. Lewis Elementary School in Bossier City. Students that are currently in the D.A.R.E. program got a chance to see the car up close. Deputy Marie Hawn, who has taught the D.A.R.E. program for seven years, said she hopes that “each time a student sees the D.A.R.E. car on the street it reminds them of the commitment they made to remain drug-free.”
The Camero, which cost $22,975, was purchased with funds that were provided as a result of seized drug money and sale of seized items. The money was awarded by the District Attorney’s Office to the Bossier Sheriff’s Office.
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington, a former D.A.R.E. officer, knows firsthand the importance of the program. Sheriff Whittington said, “We want the community to see that we’re taking drugs off the street, and we’re investing the seized money back into the community, by educating our young people about the dangers associated with drug use. This car is a promotional tool for the kids in D.A.R.E. and the whole community.”
The D.A.R.E. program, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, has been taught in all Bossier Parish elementary schools since 1990. Sheriff Whittington expanded the program last year and the program is now taught in all Bossier Parish middle schools. The program not only teaches the dangers of drugs such as tobacco and alcohol but also teaches self-awareness, responsible decision making, understanding others, relationship and communication skills and handling responsibilities and challenges.
The Bossier Sheriff’s Office has five certified D.A.R.E. officers teaching in 19 elementary schools, and approximately 1,800 5th graders will graduate from the program this school year. There are seven D.A.R.E. officers assigned to each middle school in Bossier Parish, and approximately 1,900 8th graders will graduate the advanced program this school year. All D.A.R.E. officers are fully commissioned deputies.