(Drug Abuse Resistance Education)
* DARE began in 1983 by members of the Los Angeles Police Department under the direction of Chief Daryl Gates. The purpose was to be proactive and not reactive in the war on drugs by developing a program that would involve having a uniformed officer in the elementary school setting instructing students on how to avoid drug use and violence as well as guiding students on how to deal with peer pressure and making good decisions.
* The DARE triangle logo depicts the cooperative effort between police, parents, and schools to help keep their children drug and violence free.
* DARE has been very successful and is taught in over 55 foreign countries and in 80% of all school districts throughout the United States.
* The DARE program started in Meriden in 1988 under the direction of Ofc. Thomas Cirillo (retired) and was among the first 50 cities in CT to have DARE. Ofc. Thomas Cirillo (retired), who is still part of the ST of CT DARE Training Team as a mentor/facilitator, was responsible for developing many popular programs such as the DARE awards dinner as well as the school's individual graduation ceremonies.
* In Meriden, the DARE program is taught to all 5th grade classrooms, approximately 900 students each year.
* Throughout the past 30 years, the DARE program has gone through several changes and in 2012 went through a major change with the introduction of a new elementary & middle school curriculum titled "Keeping It Real" which includes key lessons on topics such as risks & consequences, dealing with stress, friendships & helping others, and bullying.
* The Meriden Police Department has one of the strongest DARE programs in the state of CT due to our key relationships with both the Board of Education and parental groups as well as having continuous support from many local civic groups and businesses.
Crime Prevention Programs:
The Meriden Police Department offers presentations and vast materials on the following subjects for schools & staff, civic & parental groups, and local businesses:
* Identity Theft & Internet Safety.
* Cons & Scams
* Home & Car Burglary Safety
* School Violence & Gang Information
* Alcohol & Drug Abuse.
* Suspicious Activity & Personal Safety
* Safe Driving & Texting
* Bicycle, Traffic, & Car Seat Safety
* TRIAD-Senior Citizens
* Teen Dating & Domestic Violence
* Steroid Abuse & Energy Drinks.
In 2012, Officer Allen Ganter was assigned coordinator of the DARE program and Crime Prevention Unit. Officer Allen Ganter is a twelve year veteran and prior too was assigned to the patrol division, worked as a NI (Neighborhood Initiative) officer and taught DARE part time in several schools for the past 8 years. Officer Allen Ganter is also a DARE mentor for the ST of CT DARE Training Team and is a certified GREAT (Gang Resistance Education & Training) Instructor. Officer Allen Ganter is also a certified car seat technician.