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Petaluma Police Department Anti-Drug Program Receives $10,000 Donation

Posted on December 22, 2016 by in News

Wilson Elementary School D.A.R.E. Graduation 2016

The money was announced during a graduation ceremony for the department’s D.A.R.E. operation.

PETALUMA, CA – A graduation ceremony for local students participating in the Petaluma Police Department’s D.A.R.E. program also resulted in the department receiving $10,000 in donations to help keep the once-eliminated program going.

D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a substance abuse prevention education program that seeks to prevent use of illegal drugs as well as gang membership and violence. Petaluma D.A.R.E. Instructor Officer Zeus Rivera hosted a graduation ceremony Dec. 18 at Wilson Elementary School on Bodega Avenue. About 23 students in Mr. Tyler Richard’s sixth grade class completed a 10-week curriculum on drug abuse resistance education that culminated with a graduation certificate from Interim Petaluma Chief Ken Savano.

During the graduation ceremony, Dick and Lucille Sharke presented Chief Savano with a check for $5,000 from the McDowell Drug Task Force to the D.A.R.E. Program, plus an additional $5,000 personal donation from the couple.

The D.A.R.E. Program was eliminated due to staffing reductions in the Police Department in 2008, but thanks to private donations from the McDowell Drug Task Force, the North Bay Association of Realtors Petaluma Chapter and other private donors, the D.A.R.E. Program returned with officers working on their days off to teach classes.

This article by Mark Nero was originally published on Petaluma Patch.