Found at: 0x1bi.net:70/textfiles/file?law/lebmay05.law

May 1990                                                          
                      POLICE PRACTICE 2                                
             DARE:  SELECTING THE RIGHT OFFICER                                
     The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program, D.A.R.E., may 
be one of the most successful undertakings in the history of 
modern law enforcement.  This highly visible program, developed 
by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified 
Schools, has become a primary tool to teach children how to 

     However, the success of D.A.R.E. would not be possible if 
t weren't for the police officers who dedicate their time and
efforts not only in the classrooms but also at PTA meetings, 
agencies take the necessary steps to ensure that their D.A.R.E. 
officers are the best possible representatives, who reflect the 
the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office has implemented a 
multiple-step process of selecting D.A.R.E. officers.          

     In order to be successful, the recruiting process must not 
be overlooked.  Often, some of the best candidates do not 
consider applying for the D.A.R.E. program until they are 
approached.  This is primarily due to peer pressure to ``stay on 
the street and be a real cop.''  Therefore, Snohomish County 
D.A.R.E. officers go into the field to educate the officers about 
the program and to explain the impact they could have.        
Officers are approached at roll call, coffee stops, and even at 
their homes.  Notices are also distributed advertising the 
D.A.R.E. opening and inviting any interested officers to apply in 

THE SELECTION PROCESS                                             

     After the applications are  collected, each candidate is 
advised that because public speaking is so important in the 
s an activity that many fear, those candidates who do not have a
exercise.  The remaining applicants are instructed to prepare and 
and why they want to be D.A.R.E. officers.  Each candidate also 

     Potential D.A.R.E. officers must also demonstrate an ability 
to formulate a lesson plan using their own education and 
experience.  Toward this end, candidates are given information 
and tips on how to prepare lesson plans on topics of their 
choice, which can then be used to instruct a fifth or sixth grade 
class.  Like the speech, the lesson plans are scored with a 
maximum score of 100.  Scoring is completed by two officers who 
both have relevant academic and teaching experience.  Because, in 
all probability, the scorers would know the candidates, all names 
are removed from the lesson plans to ensure impartiality.         

     Each candidate also contacts a school to schedule a D.A.R.E. 
class, because D.A.R.E. officers must do this on a regular basis.  
Candidates are rated in five categories by the teachers for a 
combined score of 100.                                            

     The final exercise that the candidates have to complete is 
an appearance before the oral board.  The oral board consists of 
experienced D.A.R.E. officers who ask each candidate a series of  
questions that had been asked by students from previous D.A.R.E.  
classes.  Again, the maximum  possible score on the oral board 

     To make the final selections, the scores from the various 
exercises are totalled.  The public speaking exercise is assessed 
a value of 40 percent; the classroom presentation, 40 percent; 
and the lesson plan, 20 percent.  These scores are then added to 
the oral board score and divided by two for the final score.  The 
names of the top three candidates are then sent to the sheriff.  

     However, in order for this process to be credible, the 
candidates have to accept it as fair and impartial.  Therefore, 
after the exercises, each candidate is asked to evaluate the 
testing and selection process.  From comments received, all 
candidates believed that they not only had been given fair 
treatment but also that they learned a great deal in the 


     Obviously, it would be simpler and far quicker for the 
for the position.  However, the Snohomish County Sheriff's  
Department believes that its D.A.R.E.  Officer Selection Program 
community.  In fact, D.A.R.E. is already changing the public's 
turned by the best qualified D.A.R.E. officers possible.          


   Information for this column was submitted by Philip W. 
Tribuzio, who is Chief of the Bureau of Staff Services for the 
Snohomish County, Washington, Sheriff's Office.