Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or
is a drug abuse prevention education program designed to equip
elementary school children with knowledge about drug abuse, the
consequences of drug abuse, and skills for resisting peer pressure to
experiment with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
D.A.R.E. uses uniformed law enforcement officers to teach
a formal curriculum to students in a classroom setting. The East
Orange Police Department began teaching the program in 1992. Today,
the East Orange D.A.R.E. program
teaches students in 15 public and D.A.R.E.
program targets every 5th grader and prepares them for entering junior
high school, where pressures to use drugs
and alcohol will most likely occur.
was originally developed in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department
in conjunction with the United School district. Based on the premise
that prevention is the only long-term answer to drug abuse, the
program grew to include all 50 states and many countries abroad.
D.A.R.E. Program is designed to avoid
scare tactics. It relies on accurate information accurate information
and an upbeat approach D.A.R.E. Officers visit with
students in the classroom and provide a positive role model for our
The D.A.R.E. Program is a
constructive and highly visible method of community policing that has
great long term benefits. Until drug abuse is a thing of the past,
D.A.R.E. will continue to be in the forefront of prevention
THE D.A.R.E. DIFFERENCE
D.A.R.E. has become the premiere substance abuse program in
the world today. D.A.R.E.'s impact on reducing substance abuse
among young people is well documented both in terms of quantitative
research studies verifying D.A.R.E.'s successes and in terms of
real-life experiences of D.A.R.E. students. More than 20
studies from around the country cite D.A.R.E. as an excellent
substance abuse prevention program.
Many of these
studies clearly demonstrate D.A.R.E.'s effectiveness in
preventing drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. A 1993 Gallup survey of
D.A.R.E. graduates aged 11-18 revealed that 93% have never tried
drugs, 75% have never tried a cigarette, and 70% have never tried
alcohol. More than 90% of D.A.R.E. graduates surveyed said they
believe D.A.R.E. has helped them avoid drugs and alcohol,
increase their self- confidence and deal effectively with peer
has been praised by presidential administrations, governors, members
of congress, and state legislators. Since 1988, one day each year has
been declared National D.A.R.E. Day by Presidential
Proclamation. State legislatures have joined with the President and
Congress by proclaiming D.A.R.E. Day within their respective
states. The D.A.R.E. program has proven so successful that it
is now taught in communities in all 50 states, United States'
territories and possessions, and Department of Defense Dependents
Schools around the world. D.A.R.E. has also been adopted by 52
other nations including Colombia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand,
Costa Rica, Brazil, Hungary, England, the Philippine Islands and many
of the Caribbean Island nations.
interesting facts: With the money spent incarcerating one inmate,
D.A.R.E. can educate over 3,300 children per year. In the time it
takes to read this sentence, we've spent $1.20 for an inmate to sit in
his prison cell. Drugs in the workplace cost American industry an
estimated $250 billion per year. Every five minutes, an American
smokes cocaine. In those same five minutes, D.A.R.E. has
educated over 235 students about the dangers of illegal drugs.
D.A.R.E.'s innovative and highly effective curriculum was
developed by health education specialists. This research-based
curriculum is taught by police officers whose training and experience
give them the background needed to answer the sophisticated questions
often posed by young people about drugs and crime. Prior to entering
the D.A.R.E. program, carefully selected officers undergo 80
hours of intensive training in areas such as child development,
classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills.
Forty hours of additional training are provided to experienced
D.A.R.E. instructors to equip them to teach the middle and high
The D.A.R.E. program includes four main curricula: K-4
Visitation D.A.R.E. officers visit the kindergarten through 4th
grade classes at the schools. These visits focus on child safety and
prevention issues. Students are alerted to the potential dangers in
the misuse of medicine and other substances. Four D.A.R.E.
sessions are held for grades K-2 and five sessions are held in 3rd and
4th grades, laying the groundwork for the rest of the program.
The 5th/6th grade
curriculum is delivered by a D.A.R.E. officer and includes one
lesson per week for 17 consecutive weeks. The D.A.R.E. Program
requires that a certified teacher be present to help supplement
classroom activities. A wide range of teaching techniques is used,
including question and answer, group discussion, role-play, and
workbook exercises. The 5th/6th grade curriculum provides students
with the skills they will need to resist peer pressure to use drugs
and join gangs in their adolescent years. Junior High School These 10
lessons are a follow-up to the previous 17 lessons. They reinforce and
build upon the skills the students learned in elementary school.
Additional skills are taught regarding anger management, violence
avoidance and dealing with gangs and gang violence. Equal emphasis is
placed on helping students to recognize and cope with feelings of
anger without causing harm to themselves or others and without
resorting to violence or the use of alcohol and drugs.
D.A.R.E. HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM
D.A.R.E. high school curriculum takes previously learned values
and experiences and applies them to real life situations, teaching
young adults the value of staying drug-free. It also reinforces the
skills students need to enable them (1) to act in their own best
interest when facing high-risk, low-gain choices and (2) to resist
peer pressure and other influences in making their personal choices.
Six of the lessons are taught by the D.A.R.E. officer and three
follow- up lessons are taught by the regular classroom teacher.
D.A.R.E. PARENT PROGRAM
Parent Program is designed to stimulate interest in the community and
to motivate families to take a more active role in the prevention of
substance abuse and community violence. The content of the sessions
provides participants with the opportunity to become more involved, as
well as to give them access to community resources. The program
consists of five sessions, held in the evening or at the parent's
workplace during lunch conducted by a certified D.A.R.E.
COPS AND KIDS
Acrobat is required for PDF files. You can get it here
E.O.P.D. Ten Tips For
Parents For Safe Online Chatting
computer in your main living space and make sure the monitor
faces OUTWARD into the room so there is no secrecy. This is the
single MOST valuable thing you can do for your child's health and
2)Work as a team to set your boundaries. Discuss with your
child exactly what is OK and what is not OK regarding what kind of
Web sites are appropriate for them to visit, which chat rooms to
visit and what kinds of things to talk about there. Set logical
consequences for when your child disregards your rules (like
grounded from the Internet for 1 week), but do NOT threaten to ban
the Internet forever.
3)Stress to your child that they need to tell you if they get
any weird or upsetting messages while chatting, and that you will
not be angry with them nor will you ban the Internet as a result.
Make it clear to the child that you understand that the child
cannot control what other people say to him or her and that they
are not to blame if this happens.
4)Set strict time limits for Internet chat use and enforce
them. Internet addiction is a real thing!
5)Make it clear to your child that people in chat rooms are
ALWAYS strangers, no matter how often they chat to them, and no
matter how well they think they know them, and that while they may
be good or bad people, they are still strangers. Your child should
therefore not always believe everything people say in chat rooms.
6)Make sure your child understands that they are never to
tell a person online their real name, their school, their phone
number or where they live.
7)Do not permit your child to be left alone in cyberspace for
long periods of time - this is when they are most vulnerable. Make
sure that their chat time occurs when YOU are around in the house
so that you can check in on them regularly.
8)Be sure to stress to your child that they are to behave
politely and respectfully at all times while chatting online
with strangers or sending email to friends.
9)Don't panic! No one can harm your child through the
Internet as long as your child follows your rules.
10)Take an active interest in your child's activity online. Do
NOT use the Internet as a babysitter! Learn to surf the Web and
chat online yourself so you understand what it is that your child
is doing. If you don't know how to chat online, ask your child to
teach you! Click here for
Investigating Crimes Against Children
What Should You Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Communicating With
A Sexual Predator On-line?
talking openly with your child about your suspicions. Tell
them about the dangers of computer-sex offenders.
what is on your child's computer. If you don't know how, ask a
friend, coworker, relative, or other knowledgeable person.
Pornography or any kind of sexual communication can be a
the Caller ID service to determine who is calling your child.
Most telephone companies that offer Caller ID also offer a
service that allows you to block your number from appearing on
someone else's Caller ID. Telephone companies also offer an
additional service feature that rejects incoming calls that
you block. This rejection feature prevents computer-sex
offenders or anyone else from calling your home anonymously.
can be purchased that show telephone numbers that have been
dialed from your home phone. Additionally, the last number
called from your home phone can be retrieved provided that the
telephone is equipped with a redial feature. You will also
need a telephone pager to complete this retrieval.
is done using a numeric-display pager and another phone that
is on the same line as the first phone with the redial
feature. Using the two phones and the pager, a call is placed
from the second phone to the pager. When the paging terminal
beeps for you to enter a telephone number, you press the
redial button on the first (or suspect) phone. The last number
called from that phone will then be displayed on the pager.
your child's access to all types of live electronic
communications (i.e., chat rooms, instant messages, Internet
Relay Chat, etc.), and monitor your child's e-mail.
Computer-sex offenders almost always meet potential victims
via chat rooms. After meeting a child on-line, they will
continue to communicate electronically often via e-mail.
Are Signs That Your Child Might Be At Risk On-line?
child spends large amounts of time on-line, especially at
children that fall victim to computer-sex offenders spend
large amounts of time on-line, particularly in chat rooms.
They may go on-line after dinner and on the weekends. They may
be latchkey kids whose parents have told them to stay at home
after school. They go on-line to chat with friends, make new
friends, pass time, and sometimes look for sexually explicit
information. While much of the knowledge and experience gained
may be valuable, parents should consider monitoring the amount
of time spent on-line.
on-line are at the greatest risk during the evening hours.
While offenders are on-line around the clock, most work during
the day and spend their evenings on-line trying to locate and
lure children or seeking pornography.
find pornography on your child's computer.
is often used in the sexual victimization of children. Sex
offenders often supply their potential victims with
pornography as a means of opening sexual discussions and for
seduction. Child pornography may be used to show the child
victim that sex between children and adults is
"normal." Parents should be conscious of the fact
that a child may hide the pornographic files on diskettes from
them. This may be especially true if the computer is used by
other family members.
child receives phone calls from men you don't know or is
making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't
talking to a child victim on-line is a thrill for a
computer-sex offender, it can be very cumbersome. Most want to
talk to the children on the telephone. They often engage in
"phone sex" with the children and often seek to set
up an actual meeting for real sex.
a child may be hesitant to give out his/her home phone number,
the computer-sex offenders will give out theirs. With Caller
ID, they can readily find out the child's phone number. Some
computer-sex offenders have even obtained toll-free 800
numbers, so that their potential victims can call them without
their parents finding out. Others will tell the child to call
collect. Both of these methods result in the computer-sex
offender being able to find out the child's phone number.
child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don't
part of the seduction process, it is common for offenders to
send letters, photographs, and all manner of gifts to their
potential victims. Computer-sex offenders have even sent plane
tickets in order for the child to travel across the country to
child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the
screen on the monitor when you come into the room.
child looking at pornographic images or having sexually
explicit conversations does not want you to see it on the
child becomes withdrawn from the family.
offenders will work very hard at driving a wedge between a
child and their family or at exploiting their relationship.
They will accentuate any minor problems at home that the child
might have. Children may also become withdrawn after sexual
child is using an on-line account belonging to someone else.
if you don't subscribe to an on-line service or Internet
service, your child may meet an offender while on-line at a
friend's house or the library. Most computers come preloaded
with on-line and/or Internet software. Computer-sex offenders
will sometimes provide potential victims with a computer
account for communications with them.
Can You Do To Minimize The Chances Of An On-line Exploiter
Victimizing Your Child?
and talk to your child about sexual victimization and
potential on-line danger.
time with your children on-line. Have them teach you
about their favorite on-line destinations.
the computer in a common room in the house, not in your
child's bedroom. It is much more difficult for a
computer-sex offender to communicate with a child when
the computer screen is visible to a parent or another
member of the household.
parental controls provided by your service provider
and/or blocking software. While electronic chat can be a
great place for children to make new friends and discuss
various topics of interest, it is also prowled by
computer-sex offenders. Use of chat rooms, in
particular, should be heavily monitored. While parents
should utilize these mechanisms, they should not totally
rely on them.
maintain access to your child's on-line account and
randomly check his/her e-mail. Be aware that your child
could be contacted through the U.S. Mail. Be up front
with your child about your access and reasons why.
your child the responsible use of the resources on-line.
There is much more to the on-line experience than chat
out what computer safeguards are utilized by your
child's school, the public library, and at the homes of
your child's friends. These are all places, outside your
normal supervision, where your child could encounter an
even if your child was a willing participant in any form
of sexual exploitation, that he/she is not at fault and
is the victim. The offender always bears the complete
responsibility for his or her actions.
never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they
met on- line;
never upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the
Internet or on-line service to people they do not
never give out identifying information such as their
name, home address, school name, or telephone number;
never download pictures from an unknown source, as
there is a good chance there could be sexually
never respond to messages or bulletin board postings
that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or
whatever they are told on-line may or may not be true.
child has received an e-mail advertising for a pornographic
website, what should I do?
advertising for an adult, pornographic website that is sent
to an e-mail address does not violate federal law or the
current laws of most states. In some states it may be a
violation of law if the sender knows the recipient is under
the age of 18. Such advertising can be reported to your
service provider and, if known, the service provider of the
originator. It can also be reported to your state and
federal legislators, so they can be made aware of the extent
of the problem.
any service safer than the others?
offenders have contacted children via most of the major
on-line services and the Internet. The most important
factors in keeping your child safe on-line are the
utilization of appropriate blocking software and/or parental
controls, along with open, honest discussions with your
child, monitoring his/her on-line activity, and following
the tips in this pamphlet.
I just forbid my child from going on-line?
are dangers in every part of our society. By educating your
children to these dangers and taking appropriate steps to
protect them, they can benefit from the wealth of
information now available on-line.
Many adults can feel intimidated in using the Internet and
are baffled by some of the terms and technology, especially
about Internet Chat. While it is true that many children
take to the Internet quicker than adults, children still
need parental advice and protection. It is vital that you
understand the issues and the simple safety steps you can
take to help keep children safe. Don't put it off ! You
don't need to know everything about the Internet and all the
technical details - after all you can teach your children
the importance of wearing a seat belt in a car without
understanding how the car engine works!
is Internet Chat Rooms
teenage Internet chat room is like a school playground with
lots of kids talking to each other in groups or just
one-to-one chatting about last night's football match,
answers to homework, or the latest fashion etc. However,
unlike a physical playground, the chatting takes place with
participants linked to the same computer (or server) and
allows people to have live conversations with people from
all over the world. Whatever you type in a chat room appears
instantly as a real-time conversation on the screen for
everyone else on the channel to see. All the people that are
taking part are listed with their nick name or screen name
to the right-hand side of the chat. Entering a chat room is
kind of like eavesdropping on a school playground: there may
be more than one conversation going on at once or one big
shouting match !
from the danger of young people become addicted and immersed
in Chat and losing out on developing their social skills,
finishing their homework or playing face-to-face with other
children, the real danger of young people using Chat rooms
is in being in-touch with someone who would wish to
cultivate a relationship with them in order to contact them
your children are in a Chat area they are in a very public
"place". They don't necessarily know the true
identity of anyone they are talking to in the Chat room.
Those who would wish to harm children can prey on those in
Chat rooms who appear to be left out or lonely. They can
pretend to be supportive and sympathetic and gain the trust
of the young person by being willing to "listen"
to their problems and provide friendship.
or careers can often be caught out by kids when it comes to
computers. Whilst many have just become proficient at using
a mouse, some watch in amazement at their kids' ability to
grasp the more complex aspects of these new systems. Young
people love technology and Chat offers children an exciting
opportunity not simply to view the world passively, but the
chance to interact and participate with other children,
schools, charity projects and celebrities.
is no way we can (or should) censor the Net, but we must
make sure that when technology can be used to harm children
we as parents do our part. Here are 7 key steps you should
the computer in a family room not locked away in a
bedroom and spend time surfing together with your
children and learn from them how the Internet works.
the potential dangers with your children needs care
and sensitivity and involves helping them to see the
dangers for themselves. Most children will respond
more positively if you encourage them to be smart or
"cool" on the Internet rather than giving
them a list of "Thou Shalt Nots"
Encourage your children to visit this site and make
sure you go through the CHAT TIPS with them
in the same way as you are wary of a stranger
knocking on your door make sure your children
remember "stranger danger" in Chat rooms
and that they never reveal any personal details
about themselves, school or family, (address,
telephone numbers, photographs etc). Make sure they
don't use your credit card number without
Consider printing out the Smith's story as told from
this site for them to read on their own and go
through the CHAT TIPS with them.
allow your children to meet anyone they have
contacted via the Internet without you going with
them. Be especially careful about your children
using Chat rooms un-supervised - especially those
which are not moderated.
You are the best person to know whether your child
is mature enough to use un moderated chat rooms.
However be careful and make sure your children know
the dangers and agree with you to stick to the CHAT
an interest in the way your kids are using the
Internet and encourage them to visit sites that
reflect their interest Just as you look out for good
TV programs for children, take the time to find the
best and most useful websites and chat rooms for you
and your family.
Childnet has produced a special directory called Launchsite
which includes 50 excellent online projects which
are safe for children. The Childnet's
Awards site also profiles inspirational ways in
which children are using the Internet for good.
You can buy
software which can help you block sites you may not
wish your children to be exposed to e.g.. sexually
explicit material, hate and violence sites, alcohol
and gambling. Software can also help you monitor the
time your child spends on the computer and material
they have been viewing as well as block outgoing and
you child tells you that they are being harassed by
someone they think is an adult in a chat room and is
wanting to meet them off line, you should discuss
this fully with your child and contact your local
Sometimes it is
very difficult for a child to talk about
inappropriate online or offline contact. If you are
having difficulties in this area and feel that you
child is at risk you can Email the MPD
Webmaster for more suggestions, or possible
scheduling a personal computer session to assist
- An immense, global network that connects computers via
telephone lines and/or fiber networks to storehouses of
electronic information. With only a computer, a modem, a
telephone line and a service provider, people from all over
the world can communicate and share information with little
more than a few keystrokes.
Board Systems (BBSs)
- Electronic networks of computers that are connected by a
central computer setup and operated by a system administrator
or operator and are distinguishable from the Internet by their
"dial-up" accessibility. BBS users link their
individual computers to the central BBS computer by a modem
which allows them to post messages, read messages left by
others, trade information, or hold direct conversations.
Access to a BBS can, and often is, privileged and limited to
those users who have access privileges granted by the systems
On-line Service (COS)
- Examples of COSs are America Online, Prodigy, CompuServe and
Microsoft Network, which provide access to their service for a
fee. COSs generally offer limited access to the Internet as
part of their total service package.
Service Provider (ISP)
- Examples of ISPs are Erols, Concentric and Netcom. These
services offer direct, full access to the Internet at a flat,
monthly rate and often provide electronic-mail service for
their customers. ISPs often provide space on their servers for
their customers to maintain World Wide Web (WWW) sites. Not
all ISPs are commercial enterprises. Educational, governmental
and nonprofit organizations also provide Internet access to
Chat Rooms -
Created, maintained, listed and monitored by the COS and other
public domain systems such as Internet Relay Chat. A number of
customers can be in the public chat rooms at any given time,
which are monitored for illegal activity and even appropriate
language by systems operators (SYSOP). Some public chat rooms
are monitored more frequently than others, depending on the
COS and the type of chat room. Violators can be reported to
the administrators of the system (at America On-line they are
referred to as terms of service [TOS]) which can revoke user
privileges. The public chat rooms usually cover a broad range
of topics such as entertainment, sports, game rooms, children
Mail (E-Mail) -
A function of BBSs, COSs and ISPs which provides for the
transmission of messages and files between computers over a
communications network similar to mailing a letter via the
postal service. E-mail is stored on a server, where it will
remain until the addressee retrieves it. Anonymity can be
maintained by the sender by predetermining what the receiver
will see as the "from" address. Another way to
conceal one's identity is to use an "anonymous
remailer," which is a service that allows the user to
send an e-mail message repackaged under the remailer's own
header, stripping off the originator's name completely.
- Real-time text conversation between users in a chat room
with no expectation of privacy. All chat conversation is
accessible by all individuals in the chat room while the
conversation is taking place.
Private, real-time text conversation between two users in a
Relay Chat (IRC)
- Real-time text conversation similar to public and/or private
chat rooms on COS.
Like a giant, cork bulletin board where users post messages
and information. Each posting is like an open letter and is
capable of having attachments, such as graphic image files
(GIFs). Anyone accessing the newsgroup can read the postings,
take copies of posted items, or post responses. Each newsgroup
can hold thousands of postings. Currently, there are over
29,000 public newsgroups and that number is growing daily.
Newsgroups are both public and/or private. There is no listing
of private newsgroups. A user of private newsgroups has to be
invited into the newsgroup and be provided with the
you know about a child who is in immediate risk or danger call
the East Orange Police Department, your local Police or
Tip HotLine Helpor call 1-800-843-5678
Children, Families, and Communities Safer from Violence
time to stop the violence . . . that is killing our children
and our communities. It’s time to help each other build
neighborhoods where each of us kids, teens, adults can feel
safe and secure from crime. A tough task? Yes, but it’s a
challenge that each of us can do something about. We can
reclaim our communities child by child, family by family,
neighborhood by neighborhood.
Why accept this
challenge? Because every child deserves a safe and healthy
childhood. Because no community can afford the costs of
violence. Because a healthier, safer community benefits each
of us. Because failing to act costs lives and resources.
Because our children should not have to raise their children
amid violence. Because if we don’t stop it, no one will.
Violence holds victims,
families, friends, and neighborhoods hostage. It rips
communities apart or prevents them from coming together.
Violence takes many forms. Assaults, rapes, robberies, and
homicides are directly violent, but crimes like burglary are
often cloaked in violence and cause sometimes-paralyzing fear.
Violence is not just
about attacks by strangers. In about half the rapes in this
country, the rapist knew the victim. In more than half the
murders, the murderer and victim knew each other. Assaults are
more likely between people who know each other than between
strangers. Domestic violence wrenches apart millions of
families each year. Child abuse, overwhelmingly involving
someone close to the child, hurts more than a million children
a year. Only robberies more commonly involve strangers than
Weapons are part of the
problem. They make violence more deadly and less personal.
Nine out of ten murders involve a weapon; eight of ten involve
a firearm. Most robberies involve the use of a weapon, most
frequently a gun. One in five children has reported taking a
weapon of some kind to school, most often for self-protection
against others whom they believe have weapons.
But weapons are only part
of the story. Attitudes, emotions, and reactions are just as
important. Without working on all aspects of the issue, you
can make only limited progress.
Why go beyond protecting
yourself and your family? Because violence penetrates schools,
workplaces, and public spaces. It sucks the life out of
Even if you’re safe from
harm, violence still robs you. The costs of violence are
enormous. The annual cost of caring for gunshot victims is
more than $14 billion. The costs of private security measures,
including those against violence, is estimated at $65 billion
a year. Violent crime is responsible for much of the $90
billion a year it costs to run our criminal justice system.
Can we stop violence?
Yes. Strictly enforced policies against weapons in schools
have helped restore a sense of calm in many classrooms.
Conflict management courses have taught elementary school
children to fight less and negotiate more. Concerted community
efforts have reduced or prevented gangs and the violence they
bring. But these things only happened because someone did
What you can
Work with your family, in your neighborhood,
and in your community. Pick a place to start where you are
Recognize that violence
has many causes. Some are immediate—a specific argument, easy
availability of a weapon, a situation in which an aggressor
thinks violence will bring quick rewards, an anger that sees
no other outlet. Some are less direct for example, a community
tolerance of high violence levels, reinforced by news and
entertainment media. Some are individual inability to see
another way to settle disagreements, for instance. Some
involve situations such as peer pressure that measures or
boosts self-esteem through violence.
No one needs
to confront all these aspects of violence at once. The point
is, there’s something everyone can do.
Building a safer neighborhood
We and our
families cannot be safe if our neighborhoods are riddled with
violence. Research shows that there’s less crime where
communities are working together. Help your neighborhood
become or stay healthy.
Get to know your
neighbors. You can’t do it alone.
Start, join, or
reactivate a Neighborhood Watch or Block Watch. Include
discussions of ways neighbors can watch out for situations
that might involve children in or threaten them with violence.
Consider starting a formal block parent program such as
McGruff House so that children will have reliable,
recognizable places to go in the neighborhood, if they feel
threatened, bullied, or scared.
Talk with other adults in
the neighborhood about how fights among children should be
handled. Who should step in? How? Under what conditions? Make
sure children in the neighborhood know that adults are
prepared to help stop any form of violence.
Share information on
basic child protection from this booklet or other good
sources. Help each other learn about signs of drug abuse and
gangs, along with where to go for help in your community to
address these problems.
Agree on what a "trusted
adult" will do for children in the neighborhood in case of
troubling situations—being threatened, finding a gun or drugs,
being approached by a stranger.
Get to know and encourage
the kids in your neighborhood. Many young people say that
carrying weapons gives them a sense of power, a sense you can
help them get in far more positive ways.
Many communities have
information and referral services that keep extensive records
of the government and nongovernmental groups that can help
address neighborhood issues. These are usually listed in the
telephone directory. United Way and similar groups sometimes
operate referral services. Local taxpayer and civic
associations can often provide information.
to find out in advance who can help with such issues as
abandoned cars, dangerous intersections, broken or inadequate
lighting, over-grown or littered vacant lots, deteriorated
housing, and the like.
Adults Can Do To Stop Violence
Set up a Neighborhood
Watch or a community patrol, working with police.
Make sure your streets and homes are well-lighted.
Make sure that all the youth in the neighborhood have
positive ways to spend their spare time, through
organized recreation, tutoring programs, part-time work,
and volunteer opportunities.
Build a partnership with police, focused on solving
problems instead of reacting to crises. Make it possible
for neighbors to report suspicious activity or crimes
without fear of retaliation.
Take advantage of "safety in numbers" to hold rallies,
marches, and other group activities to show you're
determined to drive out crime and drugs.
Clean up the neighborhood! Involve everyone - teens,
children, senior citizens. Graffiti, litter, abandoned
cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you
don't care about where you live or each other. Call the
local public works department and ask for help in
Ask local officials to use new ways to get criminals out
of your building or neighborhood. These include
enforcing anti-noise laws, housing codes, health and
fire codes, anti-nuisance laws, and drug-free clauses in
Work with schools to establish drug-free zones.
Work with recreation officials to do the same for parks.
Develop and share a phone list of
local organizations that can provide counseling, job
training, guidance, and other services that can help
Ten Things Kids Can Do
To Stop Violence
Settle arguments with
words, not fists or weapons. Don't stand around and
form an audience.
Learn safe routes for
walking in the neighborhood, and know good places to
seek help. Trust your feelings, and if there's a
sense of danger, get away fast.
Report any crimes or
suspicious actions to the police, school
authorities, and parents. Be willing to testify if
Don't open the door
to anyone you and your parents don't know and trust.
Never go anywhere
with someone you and your parents don't know and
If someone tries to
abuse you, say no, get away, and tell a trusted
adult. Remember, it's not the victim's fault.
Don't use alcohol and
other drugs, and stay away from places and people
associated with them.
Stick with friends
who are also against violence and drugs, and stay
away from known trouble spots.
Get involved to make
school safer and better - having poster contests
against violence, holding anti-drug rallies,
counseling peers, settling disputes peacefully. If
there's no program, help start one!
Help younger children
learn to avoid being crime victims. Set a good
example and volunteer to help with community efforts
to stop crime.
Strengthening the Community
anywhere in the community affects all of the community. By
working on community-wide anti-violence efforts, you are
protecting yourself, your family, and your neighborhood.
Equally important, community policies and regulations can
boost neighborhood violence prevention measures.
Work to build community
standards and expectations that reject violence and other
crimes. All kinds of groups—civic clubs, houses of worship,
social clubs, the school system, professional associations,
employee groups and unions, business groups, and government
agencies—can sponsor educations efforts, conduct forums,
develop community service messages for media, and create
community-wide networks to prevent or reduce violence.
Emphasize prevention as
the preferred way to deal with violence. Ask what schools, law
enforcement agencies, public health agencies, libraries,
workplaces, religious institutions, child protective agencies,
and others are doing to prevent, not just react to, violence.
What policies do they have to prevent weapons-related
violence? How can they help the community?
Make sure that adequate
services are available for victims of violence and other
crimes including help in following their cases through court,
if necessary, and in recovering from physical, emotional, and
Enlist those familiar
with the costs of violence—parole and probation officers,
judges, doctors, emergency room staffs, victims and survivors
(especially youth), local and state legislators and chief
executives, youth workers, and others—in pushing for
prevention strategies and educating the public about their
effectiveness. Personal testimony can be powerfully
Make sure your community
offers ways people can learn about anger management, conflict
mediation, and other nonviolent ways to handle problems.
Find out what positive,
enjoyable opportunities there are for young people to have fun
in your community. What services are there for kids facing
problems? What programs help kids of various ages spend the
critical 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. hours (when the largest
numbers are without adult supervision) in safe, productive
Establish policies that
reduce danger from weapons, especially firearms. Make safe
storage of firearms a community expectation, even a law.
Ensure that licensing laws are rigorously enforced. Some
states and communities have outlawed sale of weapons to those
under 18 or 21. Others have imposed age restrictions on
permits to carry concealed weapons. In at least one state,
conviction of a firearm violation can cost a young driver his
or her license.
Work with police to help
community residents get rid of unwanted weapons through
turn-ins, "amnesty days," and even buy backs. Join forces with
other community groups and government agencies to publicize,
finance, and staff these events.
Learn your state and
local laws on firearms. Insist that these laws be enforced
vigorously but fairly. Support police, prosecutors, judges,
and other local officials who enforce laws designed to prevent
Encourage local and state
resources to go toward both prevention and enforcement.
Volunteer to mentor young
people who need positive support from adults. Programs ranging
from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to Adopt-a-School include
mentoring as a central ingredient.
Protect domestic violence
victims (and their children) through policies as well as laws
that offer them prompt and meaningful response to calls for
help and appropriate legal recourse.
Work with others in your
community to develop comprehensive, coordinated plans that
direct civic resources to deal with immediate symptoms of
violence, help neighborhoods strengthen themselves, and work
on problems that cause violence. Enlist all kinds of groups;
compare notes to avoid duplicating efforts and to benefit from
each other’s know-how.
For more information:
Media Manager National Crime Prevention Council
1700 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
When we talk about violence, we can't ignore weapons. Nine
out of ten murders involve a weapon - eight of ten involve
a firearm. Most robberies involve the use of a weapon,
most frequently a handgun.
One in seven teens
has reported carrying a weapon - like a bat, club, gun, or
knife - at some time to protect himself. Weapons can make
violence more deadly and less personal. A gun in the home
increases the likelihood of homicide three times and the
likelihood of suicide five times.
Reduce the risk
Think long and hard
about having weapons, especially firearms, in your home.
Studies show that a firearm in the home is more than forty
times as likely to hurt or kill a family member as to stop
Look at other ways to
protect yourself and your home. Invest in top-grade locks,
jamming devices for doors and windows, a dog, or an alarm
system. Start or join a Neighborhood Watch. Check with the
police, the YMCA/YWCA, or the recreation department about
a self-defense class.
If you do choose to
own firearms - handguns, rifles, or shotguns - make sure
they are safely stored. That means unloaded,
trigger-locked, and in a locked gun case or pistol box,
with ammunition separately locked. Store keys out of reach
of children, away from weapons and ammunition. Check
frequently to make sure this storage remains secure.
Obtain training from
a certified instructor in firearms safety for everyone in
the home. Make sure it's kept current.
Teach your children
what to do if they find a firearm or something that might
be a weapon - Stop, Don't Touch, Get Away, and Tell a
Show children how to
settle arguments or solve problems without using words or
actions that hurt others. Set the example by the way you
handle everyday conflicts in the
family, at work, and
in the neighborhood. Don't forget that common courtesies
like "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" help ease
tensions that can lead to violence.
name-calling and teasing. These can easily get out of
hand, moving all too quickly from "just words" to fists,
knives, and even firearms. Teach children that bullying is
wrong and take their fears about bullies seriously.
Take a hard look at
what you, your family, and your friends watch and listen
to for entertainment - from action movies and cop shows to
video games and music lyrics. How do the characters solve
problems? Do they make firearms and other violence appear
exciting, funny, or glamorous? Are the real-life
consequences of violence for victims and families clear?
Talk about what each of you liked and didn't like.
Stick with friends
and family who steer clear of violence and drugs. And
encourage your children to do the same. Research shows use
of alcohol and other drugs is closely linked with
violence, including the use of guns and other weapons.
Take action in your
Be sure you know
where and how to report potentially violent situations or
concerns about conditions in the neighborhood that could
lead to violence. Ask your police department for help in
identifying what to report, when, to whom, and how.
an event that lets people turn in weapons, or even objects
that might be mistaken for real weapons, in exchange for
books, coupons from local merchants, toys, or simply the
satisfaction of making the community safer.
Support schools and
youth clubs in their efforts to keep guns, knives, and
other weapons from menacing the everyday lives of children
and teens. Encourage children to report any weapons they
know about in or near school to staff or the police.
Look around to see
what happens to young people after school hours. Are there
supervised programs for younger children? Opportunities
for teens and preteens to work with children, get or give
help with homework, tackle neighborhood problems, or learn
art, music, sports, or computer skills? In many areas,
after-school programs are located in schools themselves
and called Safe Havens or Beacon Schools.
Start a discussion of
neighborhood views on weapons in the home, children
playing with toy weapons, children and violent
entertainment, and how arguments should be settled.
A PTA meeting, an
informal social gathering, or a Neighborhood Watch meeting
could provide the opportunity.
Learn your state and
local laws on firearms. Insist that these laws be enforced
vigorously but fairly. Support police, prosecutors,
judges, and other local officials who enforce laws
designed to prevent gun violence.
Prevent Handgun Violence
1225 Eye Street, NW, Room 1100
Washington, DC 20005
information and statistics about children, education and public
television. Also provides action alerts with information about how
to help in the fight to preserve public television programming.
Sake! Radio offers a fresh look at children’s issues of both
general and discipline-specific interest. Many topics relate
directly to education, while others examine areas such as juvenile
justice, gang prevention, kids and sports, research on the
effectiveness of nurses visiting “at risk” pregnant girls,
violence in video games, breast milk banks, and fetal alcohol
committed to making a substantial investment in training and
technical assistance to assist the nation's police departments
with the transition to community policing. The COPS Office is
dedicated to providing training and technical assistance for
agencies receiving COPS grants and to committing resources to the
field that will promote and support the move by law enforcement to
In 1997, the
COPS Office funded the creation of a network of Regional Community
Policing Institutes, to develop and deliver innovative community
policing training to interested departments throughout a
designated region. Institutes have the latitude to experiment with
new ideas to challenge and improve traditional training curricula,
and to develop curricula that supports community policing and will
sustain it in the future. The institutes also provide a wide range
of specialized training opportunities that are designed to ensure
that community policing is a permanent part of law enforcement.