Can the Newport Beach Police D.A.R.E. to be different?


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The Newport Beach Police Department tries to stay out of the news.  In years past, each time that press was garnered, over 90% of that time, that news was not particularly good.  Oh sure, you get the typical Hero Breakfasts that tell us about how well the local PD has been excelling.  The traditonal Policeman’s Ball concept that keeps the local gentry supposedly aware  – that all is well.

In the past few years, the various D.A.R.E. programs has been under pressure.  Utilizing a swore policeman took that knowledgeable human resource off the street on into the D.A.R.E. van.  There has been a great deal of pressure by Marijuana Pharmacies, some local politicians and various pro-legalization activists to do away with the D.A.R.E. programs throughout the county.  Drug and  Abuse Resistance Education programs may have served their purpose back in the 60’s and 70’s, critics say;  but with the addition of Designer Drugs, HGH and Physical Enhancement drugs, Misuse of Prescription Drugs and socially available products that are being presented to young people almost daily in their environment – those issues are also relevant.   With that in mind, we firmly believe that something similar to the D.A.R.E. program is still very necessary.

Having said that, the Newport Beach Police Department has stepped up into the 21st Century by adding some elements to the D.A.R.E. programs which may bring added relevance to both the kids that experience the programs but also their parents and teachers.  “Step Up” is the newly branded idea that is being added to the D.A.R.E. structure.  Erica Sperling is a Crime Prevention Specialist at the NBPD and came up with adding some very important elements to the existing Drug and Alcohol awareness program.  NBPD Chief Jay Johnson elected Sperling to create and head up the program for elementary schools, sixth graders in Newport Beach.

Bullying is a fact of life.  Bullying has been around since the days of the first single room school house.  In modern society, with serious disconnects with working parents, overworked teachers and consulars – the pressures are worse, lasting and complicated.  CPO  Sperling is going to be offering a 10 week course to sixth graders which broaches both Bullying, Hate Crime and Facebook/Social Network Intimidation responses.  CPO Sperling was selected by NBPD Chief Jay Johnson to create and  apply this program – because along with her 21 years of police experience she also holds an active teaching credential.

The “Step Up” program has been created loosely based upon the John Wooden “Pyramid of Success”.  This year schools will start out with 2-week pilot course which is intended to expand next year to a full 10 week comprehensive course.  23 sixth grade school classes in nine schools will kick off the program.  Elements of “texting”, “smart phones”, “social pressures” and all the elements of substance abuse will be covered. Result based programs are what is being sought with the new “Step Up” concept.  Hopefully, the incidences of Bullying and Social Network Intimidation will be reduced.  Additionally, being able to answer the various questions that were covered in the old D.A.R.E. program will be a double impact and enhancement to the entire program.

We wish Chief Johnson, CPO Sperling and the entire NBPD a successful launch and an ongoing effective program which will benefit sixth graders across the system.  Hopefully, with a due, measureable degree of success, this program might well be adopted throughout the County and the State.   Thanks Chief Johnson for thinking out of the box.  There is no doubt, this information is critical to sub-teens who are finding the new technology both exciting and in some cases very dangerous.  Parents and Teachers need to audit these classes and become part of the support system with their input and feedback as well.

Can NBPD D.A.R.E. to be different?  Absolutely!


About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.