Schwarz supports DARE

As the primary election draws near, it is important for us to remember that many of our local elected officials will be decided upon this May. As taxpayers, it’s important for all of us to take a look at what has transpired over the past four years and decide if we are satisfied with the direction our elected officials are taking us.

One very important area of concern is in regards to our local youth and drug/violence prevention programs in our county schools.

During the past several years, we have seen our county DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program go from one of the top-rated programs in the state of Nebraska to its current state of non-existence. The current administration at the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office has “dropped the ball” by allowing this successful local program to just disappear.

Don’t believe those who claim that the program is either outdated, too expensive or ineffective. If any of that was true, why would law enforcement agencies like the Gosper County Sheriff’s Office (Elwood) join in with over 220 other communities who have started a new DARE program within the past three years?

In fact, this year alone, millions of school children around the world will benefit from DARE, the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence. In addition, the students also have the opportunity to interact with local law enforcement in a very positive, non-threatening environment.

If you’re still unsure about the effectiveness of the DARE curriculum, please seek out one of the many fifth or sixth grade teachers who have hosted the DARE program in their classroom and ask them for their opinion. Or ask one of the thousands of former DARE students, high school role models, parents, grandparents and family members who have participated in our local program.

Paul Schwarz is the only candidate for the Dawson County Sheriff position who has shown an interest in bringing back a positive law enforcement presence into our local schools. After contacting both of us individually shortly after he announced that he was running for sheriff, Paul asked for our opinions, insight and what it would take to reestablish the DARE program in Dawson County. We have both known Paul Schwarz for a number of years and believe that if he is elected, Paul will step up to the challenge, lead the sheriff’s office forward and reestablish this valuable program in our county.

Please join us by voting on May 11 for Paul Schwarz, Dawson County Sheriff. “A Sheriff of the people, for the people.”

Cheri Ziebell, Cozad, Dawson County DARE Officer 2003-2007

Matt Weiss, Gothenburg, Dawson County DARE Officer 1996-2002, Nebraska DARE Training Staff 1997-2002