Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
Officer Chris Caton has been an officer with the Lancaster Police Department for over sixteen years where he has served as part of the patrol bureau, bicycle patrol unit and is currently a member of the Community Services Unit (C.S.U.). He is a 1994 graduate of New Lexington High School. He is also a 1996 graduate of Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, where he earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Police Science and also completed their police academy. He started his law enforcement career at the Perry County Sheriff’s Office where he was a deputy sheriff.
In 2005 he completed the eighty hour Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer training in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and began teaching D.A.R.E. as a certified instructor at St. Mary Catholic School while still part of the patrol bureau. The following year Officer Caton was transferred to C.S.U. and began teaching D.A.R.E. in the city schools and eventually Fairfield Christian Academy.
In addition to teaching D.A.R.E., he is a certified Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) self-defense instructor. In 2007 Officer Caton became the director of the Safety Town program, a two week summer safety program for children who will be attending kindergarten in the upcoming school year.
Officer Caton, his wife Lisa and daughter Emma reside in Perry County and are members of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Lancaster.
Officer Jim Marshall is a Fairfield County native and 1994 graduate of Bloom Carroll High School. After high school, Officer Marshall attended Columbus State Community College and The Ohio State University. He is a 13 year veteran of the Lancaster Police Department and previously worked as a bailiff with the Fairfield County Municipal Court. He is a 2001 graduate of the Southwest Ohio Academy for Bailiff/Court Officers and a 2002 graduate of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Basic Peace Officer Academy and has worked as a patrol officer on all three patrol watches at the Lancaster Police Department.
Officer Marshall has been assigned to the department’s Community Services Unit since 2007, serving as a certified Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) instructor and Community Services officer. Officer Marshall is active with the department’s Bicycle Patrol Unit, Special Response Team and Honor Guard.
In addition to teaching D.A.R.E. he is a certified Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) instructor, A.L.I.C.E. (active shooter defense) instructor and works closely with the Criminal Science Programs at Lancaster High School, Fairfield Career Center and Ohio University - Lancaster.
He also serves as an advisory board member for the Lancaster High School Criminal Science program and the Fairfield Career Center Criminal Justice program.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is an internationally recognized, model program created in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Lancaster Police Department D.A.R.E. program has been in existence since the early 1990's.
Since 1983 D.A.R.E. has demonstrated leadership in the prevention of drug abuse. Collaborative efforts among Law Enforcement, Education and Prevention Science have distinguished the D.A.R.E. program. D.A.R.E.'s "keepin' it REAL" Elementary Curriculum continues this commitment to provide cutting edge instruction that prevents drug use by developing basic or core skills needed for safe and responsible choices. These skills extend beyond drugs to health and mature choices in life. Developing core academic and life skills, the curriculum furthers both educational and prevention goals.
The D.A.R.E.'s "keepin' it REAL" Elementary Curriculum is designed based on the Socio-Emotional Learning Theory (SEL). SEL identifies fundamental, basic skills and developmental processes needed for healthy development including:
- self-awareness and management
- responsible decision making
- understanding others
- relationship and communication skills
- handling responsibilities and challenges
The curriculum uses this theory to teach youth to control their impulses and think about risks and consequences resulting in more responsible choices. We believe that if you can teach youth to make safe and responsible decisions, this guides them to healthy choices not only about drugs but across all parts of their lives. As they grow to become responsible citizens, they will lead healthier and more productive drug free lives.
The ten lessons are arranged in a scaffolding process, starting with the basics about responsibility and decision making and then building on each other allowing students to develop their own responses to real life situations. The very first lesson starts with responsibility and introduces decision making with subsequent lessons applying these skills in increasing complex ways to drug use and other choices in their lives. It is D.A.R.E.'s vision that youth who think their way through situations, make better choices that are not impulsive, communicate, and relate to people, will be drug free and more successful in all areas of their lives. This is our vision for success and the journey that begins with lesson one.
Importance of D.A.R.E.
The most important facet of D.A.R.E. is the use of specially trained police officers to deliver the curriculum within the schools. Police officers are accepted as authorities on drug abuse, as they deal with drug abuse and its consequences on a daily basis. Last year, nearly 600 Lancaster City, St. Mary and Fairfield Christian Academy elementary students completed the D.A.R.E. curriculum.
In order to be certified to instruct D.A.R.E., a police officer is first interviewed by a panel of police executives, D.A.R.E. Officers and school administrators. If approved, the officer must then complete 2 weeks (80 hours) of intensive training by an accredited training center.
Officers are trained by the Law Enforcement Foundation. The Law Enforcement Foundation has the sole permission to train D.A.R.E. Officers in Ohio.
Ohio's D.A.R.E. program is sponsored by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Foundation.