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LEAD or DARE? What's right for Manchester schools?

April 24. 2018 5:43PM

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard 

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard wants to restart a drug prevention program in the city’s schools, but not the program that Manchester dropped a decade ago.

Willard is touting Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEADs.) He says the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program used by 74 police agencies across New Hampshire isn’t as effective.

DARE uses police officers to teach students about the dangers of drugs. LEADs also relies on teachers and guidance counselors as part if its 10-week course.

The cheapest and most effective way to deal with the many problems of drug addiction is to keep kids from using drugs in the first place. Using police to teach that lesson is a great use of resources, if the program works.

Rochester and Tilton are using the LEADs program. Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier says the program is an effecitve partnership.

For the past several years, local, state, and federal officials have been throwing everything they can think of at the opioid epidemic. We’ve gotten better at treating overdoses, but made little headway in reducing use of heroin laced with potentially lethal amounts of fentanyl and other drugs.

Willard hopes to present his proposal to Mayor Joyce Craig and school superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas next month. We look forward to seeing the details of what could be a promising partnership between Manchester police and schools.

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