DARE program begins 28th year in county

Staff report

SIDNEY — Shelby County Sheriff Lenhart has announced he will continue his support of the local school systems and children by continuing the office’s DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program, SRO (School Resource Officer) Program and the Sidney City School Safety Officer program.

The Sheriff’s Office is entering its 28th year of presenting the DARE program, which is taught to all students in the fifth-grade at all seven county schools. Holy Angels Catholic School in Sidney and Sidney Christian School has been added to the program this year.

“With the addition of Holy Angels and Sidney Christian we are excited about being able to present the DARE program to all of our County and Christian schools,” said Lenhart.

The Sheriff’s Office recently daubed its new DARE vehicle. The 2009 Ford Explorer was recently retired from the Sheriff’s Office road patrol division. CarStar of Sidney sponsored the DARE vehicle and completed all needed repairs to the body of the vehicle free of charge. Best One Tire of Sidney also sponsored the DARE vehicle and paid for all custom imaging and graphics. The new DARE vehicle will be seen at all the Shelby County Schools along with festivals, parades and many other community events.

“The Sheriff’s Office has four fulltime SRO program deputies” said Lenhart. “We will be entering our second year with a fulltime deputy (SRO) in Sidney High school. Houston and Fairlawn have both split a deputy for the last 13 years and now each school has requested its own fulltime SRO, which began with this school year. Anna school system was added at the end of last year’s school year and this will be their first year with a fulltime deputy in the school.”

This will be the Sheriff’s Office’s fourth year with School Safety Officers in all of the Sidney City Schools. The School Safety Officers are commissioned by the Sheriff’s Office and are employed by the school system. They provided staff and building security, mentoring and a various amount of other task deemed necessary by the school.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate to have the expertise and experience we have in our school safety officers”, said Lenhart. “They provided an invaluable service to our children.”

Staff report