KPD holds annual DARE Day celebration | Community Spirit
LĪHU'E – Roughly 700 fifth grade students attended this year’s Drug Awareness Resistance Education (DARE) Day celebration at the Kaua'i War Memorial Convention Hall yesterday.
Students from 11 different elementary schools across the island completed the DARE program, a 10-part curriculum taught by specially trained police officers over the course of the school year. The program focuses on the facts of drugs and alcohol use to encourage children to make better life choices and stand up against negative pressures.
Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. encouraged the students to stay on a positive path in life.
“The more you learn, the better choices you make,” said Mayor Carvalho. “And when you make good choices in life, you will make a positive difference in the world.”
Kaua'i Police Chief Darryl Perry reiterated to students to “Just Say No” to drugs and alcohol, a popular DARE slogan and recurring message of the program.
“Prevention is one of the most important aspects of our job as police officers, especially our School Resource Officers,” stated Chief Perry.
Chief Perry and Deputy Chief Michael Contrades acknowledged each School Resource Officer at yesterday’s ceremony, including: Sgt. Ken Carvalho; Officer Barry Deblake; Officer Luke Hamberg; Sgt. Mark Ozaki; and Officer Mark Stulpe.
A special plaque was awarded to Sgt. Ken Carvalho for his dedication to the public school system and the DARE program. Sgt. Carvalho was celebrating his last DARE Day as he was recently transferred to another unit.
“The Kaua'i Police Department would like to take this opportunity to thank Sgt. Carvalho for over a decade of service to Kaua'i’s youth,” said Deputy Chief Contrades. “We are so grateful and appreciative of all of his hard work and commitment to educating our youth in how to live a drug free life.”
KPD also thanks it many volunteers, sponsors and entertainers who donated their time to the event.
“Due to a loss of funding, other DARE programs across the state have had to cutback significantly and Kaua'i was not immune to those cutbacks,” said Chief Perry. “Our department has had to step up in a big way to keep this program going and we are deeply grateful to those that continue to donate money or their personal time year after year to keep this program alive.”
A special mahalo goes out to sponsors Raymond Duarte, Kaua'i Community Federal Credit Union, Kaua'i War Memorial Convention Hall, Mark’s Place, and the Rotary Club of Po'ipū.
The DARE program was developed in 1983 as a cooperative effort of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. It began on Kaua'i in 1986 and continues to have a statewide presence. To learn more about the DARE Hawai'i program, visit www.darehawaii.org.