When Joe Desante retired from the Twinsburg Police Department in 2010, he said he would work part time to continue the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program going for sixth graders at the Twinsburg City Schools.
In 2011 Desante decided he would retire for good. His decision left Chief Chris Noga in a pickle: There was no one in his department able to take the reigns but he didn't want the students to miss a year of a program he felt was important.
The solution? Look outside the community and bring in someone who can fill the gap for this year.
On Tuesday city council approved the hiring of Brian Reardon and Raymond Arnold from the Bainbridge Township Police Department to teach the D.A.R.E. program for 2012, until one of Noga's officers can get certification to do it.
“This is so we don’t have any year of students miss a year of D.A.R.E. program,” Noga said. “Our intent is to start the program next week.”
The D.A.R.E. program has been implemented in schools around the country since 1983 as a way to educate children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
In Twinsburg, 50 percent of the program is funded by a grant, while the school and police department split the remaining cost of the nine-week program.