Radford Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dwayne Owens teaches DARE to Radford’s 6th graders for the 7th year.
Every Wednesday, Deputy Dwayne Owens takes on one of his most demanding jobs but it isn’t in the courtroom or his patrol car. Instead, he reports for duty at Belle Heth Elementary School where he teaches the D.A.R.E curriculum to four classes of 6th graders.
D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a curriculum that addresses drugs, violence, bullying, Internet safety and other high-risk circumstances that today are too often a part of the lives of young people today.
Deputy Owens says, “Over the last seven years, I have enjoyed my time as Radford’s D.A.R.E. instructor and look forward to continuing in that role for many years to come. With this course, I hope all of my students take something valuable with them from D.A.R.E., that will help them make the right decisions in their future.”
Until 2010, the Radford Police Department’s school resource officers taught D.A.R.E. classes in addition to their performing general law enforcement duties throughout the Radford school system.
As the duties of the school resource officer position continued to evolve, the amount of time that was required to accomplish the policing aspects of the position continued to increase, making it very difficult to prepare for and instruct the D.A.R.E. classes.
Faced with the reality that the D.A.R.E. program may have to be eliminated from Radford City Schools, Police Chief Don Goodman approached our office to see if we could help.
Deputy Dwayne Owens immediately came to mind as the perfect fit for this job. Dwayne was already a certified general instructor and had school aged children of his own so he was keenly aware of the importance of D.A.R.E.
Dwayne agreed to attend the D.A.R.E. instructor certification course and take on the role as Radford’s new D.A.R.E. instructor.
Each year, over one hundred 6th graders attend the D.A.R.E. course and they truly appreciate Deputy Owens’ hard work and dedication.
One of those students, Caden Primm says, “D.A.R.E. helps us with everyday things that we need to do better at. The D.A.R.E. program helps me understand that I need to think before I act. I like it a lot.”
Sheriff Armentrout and the Radford Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Radford City Schools and Deputy Dwayne Owens for making a difference in our community, not just our schools, by continuing this vital curriculum in Radford.