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D.A.R.E. officer looking to expand program

Program could start in the new year
2017-10-13 DARE Timmins MH
Timmins Police Const. Rick Lemieux gives a D.A.R.E. lesson at Ecole Catholique Anicet-Morin with the help of Alexya Racicot. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

A Timmins Police officer is hoping to expand the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in town.

Const. Rick Lemieux has approval from the Timmins Police Service to start a Grade 10 program. The next step to get it into the area high schools is getting the green light from the principals.

He explained the new program would continue from where students left off talking about peer pressure and stress in Grade 8.

“It’s a little bit different than the other programs simply because in Grade 10 a lot of students have different schedules,” said Lemieux.

For the program, there are two lessons with a police officer and four online lessons, which Lemieux hopes schools will give them time to do in class.

“It works out good because we can work around the school’s schedule. If they need two months, three months, four months to do the online portion – not a big deal, we’ll come back when everybody’s done the online portion,” he said.

The online part brings students through a scenario where two girls start Grade 9 and make different choices. At the Grade 12 graduation one is heading off to post-secondary and one’s life is on hold.

“It’s kind of a way to show that, you know, these little choices that you make can have a huge impact on where you’re going to be in your future,” he said.

D.A.R.E. lessons for local students start in Grade 6 and are picked up again in Grade 8.

Lemieux likes doing the program every two years “because that way there they get to know the officer, they get to know the program and they know what they’re doing.”

Lemieux is meeting with high school principals this month. If all goes well, he hopes to offer the Grade 10 program starting in the new year.