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The D.A.R.E. program began in Los Angles in 1983 as a joint venture between the Los Angles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District, and has progressed from a local effort into one of the nation's most widely recognized substance abuse prevention efforts. Today, D.A.R.E. is taught by uniformed law enforcement officers in all fifty (50) states and in more than two (2) dozen foreign countries.

Pennsylvania's formal involvement with D.A.R.E. began in 1986 when two (2) members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police successfully completed the 80 hour D.A.R.E. Officer Training Seminar that was conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department. Upon returning to Pittsburgh these officer were responsible for the implementation of this program in the cities public and non-public schools and became the first in the state. The following year members of the Philadelphia Police Department received their certification as D.A.R.E. Officers and implemented their program in the 1987-88 school year.

D.A.R.E. Officer Training began in Pennsylvania in the summer of 1988 when the Philadelphia Police Department conducted its first training class. The following year the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted its first training seminar. Since then, there has been a D.O.T. (D.A.R.E. Officer Training) at least twice a year.

In recognition of the increasing interest in D.A.R.E. being expressed by local police departments, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) implemented a mechanism to provide training to local law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania interested in starting their D.A.R.E. programs in community schools. Since 1989, PCCD has focused its efforts on training new D.A.R.E. Officers to meet the growing needs for this program throughout Pennsylvania and in coordinating the efforts of the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh training projects under the banner of the PCCD D.A.R.E. Training Center. All of the D.A.R.E. Officers Training now in the state in conducted at the Pennsylvania Masonic Home in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania at the expense of the Pennsylvania Freemasons.

Pennsylvania's D.A.R.E. effort has been the partnership between the Department of Education and the Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Department of Education staff have participated as guest presenters at PCCD sponsored D.A.R.E. training sessions and continually encourage school officials to participate in the program.

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