First Female to do so in Two Decades
Sheriff Austin Garrett is proud to announce the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has graduated its third D.A.R.E. Instructor to teach the D.A.R.E. Program in Hamilton County Schools. On Friday, June 30, Hamilton County School Resource Deputy Sarah Riggle successfully graduated from the intense 80-hour D.A.R.E. Officer’s Training Course making her the first female to do so in the HCSO in over two decades.
“Last year, as part of my vision for this agency, we reinstituted the D.A.R.E. Program in Hamilton County Schools with pilot programs at East Hamilton Middle School and Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts” Sheriff Garrett said. “Both pilot programs were successful and culminated with over 160 students graduating the D.A.R.E. Program. My administration and I understand the value of this safety program and the importance it plays in not only reducing drug addiction in children, but the many other important lessons and values it teaches our young people.”
Launched in 1983, D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a comprehensive K-12 prevention education program taught in thousands of schools across America, as well as many other countries. Taught by highly trained law enforcement officers, D.A.R.E. Education Programs delivers a science and evidence-based curriculum that teaches students good decision-making skills that in return, will help them lead safe and healthy lives and cope with high-risk circumstances including drugs, alcohol, violence, bullying, and internet safety.
“I am extremely proud of efforts and initiative shown by School Resource Deputy Riggle and her willingness to teach the D.A.R.E. program at Loftis Middle School,” Sheriff Garrett said. “The coursework necessary to become a D.A.R.E. Instructor is very time consuming and I appreciate her commitment to our community’s students and completing this unique and beneficial training opportunity.”
The acronym REAL is the central message of the D.A.R.E. curriculum and teaches youth four ways to refuse drug offers — Refuse, Explain, Avoid, and Leave. These strategies help youth stay away from drugs by preparing them to act decisively and responsibly in difficult situations. The curriculum teaches students how to resist drugs offers by presenting practical strategies that are easy for them to remember and use.