Colonie to take a hard look at D.A.R.E.

Heider said that in other areas, the D.A.R.E program runs for 17 weeks, but officers chose to make it 10 weeks to "customize" it for Colonie.

Heider said the police department determined the shorter program allowed some elements to be replaced by coverage of more local issues and also free up more time for the D.A.R.E officers to conduct their other duties, such as patrolling community events like marathons and walks and events at the Crossings of Colonie.

In her past experience as an educator, Mahan said, "I saw the benefits of having that program in the schools with the police officers."

Mahan also said that she believes the programs are preventative and that there is a need for a police officer presence in the schools, whether it be with D.A.R.E. or the school resource officer, but she will continue to study the most cost-effective way to do it.

Mahan said, now that the budget for the coming year has been completed, she will meet with former D.A.R.E. officers to discuss the program and what could be done to strengthen it. She said she hopes to bring the school district on board to think creatively about how to make sure students are receiving the best education that will prevent them from using drugs.

Director of Town Operations Peter Gannon said, "Our responsibility is to make the right choices for the people of the town. If the consensus is that the D.A.R.E. program isn't working, then we would consider other options.""

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