Lopey received the 2019 DARE International Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award, presented on June 25 at the 32nd DARE International Annual Training Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

Siskiyou County’s DARE program and Sheriff Jon Lopey received national recognition last month from DARE International, along with numerous DARE law enforcement instructors in the U.S. and beyond.

Lopey received the 2019 DARE International Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award, presented on June 25 at the 32nd DARE International Annual Training Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

DARE International paid for the brief trip, which featured a series of training sessions, discussions, speeches, and awards’ presentations. Lopey’s award was presented by DARE International’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Francisco X. Pequeros.

“It was a distinct honor being selected for this prestigious award but what it truly represents is the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of SCSO’s DARE instructor, Reserve Deputy Jim Jacobsen,” said Lopey, as well as the teamwork and contributions of DARE mentors like retired Deputy David Nye and DARE International Regional Coordinator, Mr. Dennis Osborn and other key players.

Lopey recognized Siskiyou County School Superintendent Kermith Walters, local administrators and teachers, as well as the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and the Siskiyou County Health and Human Services’ Behavioral Health Service’s Alcohol and Drug Prevention Team, led by Toby Reusze and Mr. John Crovelle.

“BHS provides funding and Mr. Crovelle teaches the DARE “Keepin’ it Real” program curriculum, which means students in Siskiyou County schools, K through 12th grade, have the opportunity to learn scientifically-proven and evidence-based instruction on such topics as alcohol, drug, and tobacco resistance education, anti-bullying, “stranger danger,” firearms’ safety, and pitfalls of opioid use,” Lopey said.

In addition, “Athletes Committed,” championed by Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus and Crovelle and his team, is also used successfully in several county schools.

The DARE “Keepin’ it Real” program is a relatively new program that has scientifically been proven to be much more successful than earlier versions of DARE, which originally started in Los Angeles in 1983, Lopey said. The program was revamped and curriculum was developed after 2009, which used science and evidence-based strategies.

In the new DARE program, instructors do less talking so students can practice tough, realistic decisions in activities with other students that develop their problem-solving skills, Lopey explained.

“The interaction and group work is a great way to convey key information and strategies to help students help themselves and one another. They learn by doing in a practical way by practicing four ways of saying no to drugs or other harmful behavior: Refuse, Explain, Avoid, and Leave.”

SCSO’s DARE program includes Deputy Jacobsen and another trained instructor, Deputy Bob Buker. Both attended a two-week qualification course in the Los Angeles area to qualify to be DARE mentors and instructors. Aside from DARE classes taught by retired, long-time, distinguished instructor Deputy David Nye, who has presented DARE classes at Fort Jones Elementary School in 2019. Over the past two years, DARE classes have been taught to approximately students in Siskiyou County at 12 schools

There are plans to assist the Karuk Tribe in Yreka with DARE instruction during summer vacation and there are 11 more schools projected for the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal year.

“We still have a lot of work to do to continue the DARE program in all Siskiyou County schools,” said Lopey. During the upcoming school year SCSO DARE instructors will primarily focus on elementary and middle schools while Crovelle focuses attention on high schools and some middle schools.

“We will also reach out to cities and offer support to our local law enforcement leaders and tribal counterparts throughout the county,” said Lopey.

Anyone interested in a DARE presentation at their school should contact Jacobsen or Lopey at the SCSO office at (530) 841-2900.