With an upcoming program on school security, Clarkstown residents have shown an increased interest in the police department’s D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and School Resource Officer (SRO) programs. Clarkstown Police Det. Sgt. Christopher Goodyear, who heads up the Juvenile Bureau, addressed the outdated information on the department’s website and noted D.A.R.E. is no longer offered in the middle school. He provided current information about police officers assigned to district schools and confirmed the website will be revised.
The department has two D.A.R.E. officers assigned fulltime to work with fifth grade students in 17 schools through the town. During the course of the 17-week DARE program, the officers teach the curriculum to their assigned school’s fifth grade students.
“That’s their post for the entire day,” he explained.
The two D.A.R.E. officers cover 10 public schools in the Clarkstown district, three in Nyack and one in Nanuet as well as St. Paul’s in Congers, St. Anthony’s in Nanuet and Saint Augustine in New City. Goodyear said the officers spend the majority of the day with fifth graders, going with them to other classes, special programs and recess but also visit the classes of younger students.
School Resource Officers (SROs) are stationed at Clarkstown North and South, Nanuet and Nyack high schools and Felix Festa Middle School.
“They’re in the schools five days a week,” said Goodyear. “The school for the SRO is their beat.”
He said the SRO is available to speak to anyone in the school, students and staff alike, and parents can meet with the officer also. Goodyear said the SRO teaches the students about drugs and alcohol abuse in health classes, attends sporting events, serves as a liaison between the school and police department and makes recommendations about building safety.