Newsbrief: DARE Axed in Cincy -- Dayton Next? 8/16/02

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DARE's star is starting to fade fast. The popular but ineffective school anti-drug program is losing cities by the week -- it has recently been dropped by Austin and Houston, Spokane and Seattle, Omaha, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City and Toledo. Last week, Cincinnati joined the list, and Dayton looks set to be next to axe the program.

Citing the program's ineffectiveness and the need to increase the city's police presence, the Cincinnati City Council voted on August 8 to quit funding the DARE program, saving the city $351,000 and putting seven DARE officers back on the streets. "DARE has not been proven to be effective, and we desperately need more uniformed officers on the street as a preventive force," said Councilman James Tarbell.

The city had moved to revoke DARE's funding once before, in 2000, but bowed to pressure from schools and educators to restore the program. Not this time.

The next day, Dayton Police Chief William McManus announced that his town could be next, saying he wanted to reassign Dayton's five DARE officers to street patrols. But no decision had been made yet, he said. "Recent studies have raised questions about whether we could be putting our resources to better use, but we haven't decided to cut the program yet," McManus told the Dayton City Council.

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