Members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) are in the country to train Manila policemen become instructors and teach grade school students the harmful effects of illegal drugs.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) training is a two-week intensive and extensive program. The Manila Police District (MPD) plans to bring the anti-drug campaign to schools and hopes to keep school children away from illegal drugs with the help of trained police instructors.
“The LAPD is better trained, better equipped, and better funded, but nonetheless we have the same delegation and conviction and same mission to perform,” said MPD District Director Supt. Joel Coronel.
The LAPD representatives are veterans and are led by Scott Gilliam, the director of the DARE program, and Jeffrey Smith. They expressed their support to the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte and Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
“I know that the President wants to cut down drugs in the Philippines. And I think that is very important. The fact that he has made an effort to stop drugs in the Philippines, I think that is a tremendous effort,” Smith said in a press briefing.
“Education has changed, children have changed, and so therefore the strategies that were used also have changed and we are looking forward to teaching these police officers and giving them the most up-to-date tools and strategy for teaching the children of the Philippines how to make good choices,” he added.
Twelve members of the LAPD will be teaching 72 Manila policemen on how to become effective instructors under DARE. The program aims to make children better understand the consequences of using illegal substances and how to get out of risky situations.
“We have to teach officers how to become classroom teachers; we prepare them for the lessons. LAPD brought educators that will give them the skill to have classroom management and answer questions, those things that will make the officer better in the classroom,” Gilliam said.
DARE is a comprehensive education program taught in the US and 52 countries including the Philippines. The MPD has only 14 active DARE instructors since the program was implemented in Manila in 2013.
“The usage of marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol continues to decrease. We are a part of it, we’re not gonna say we are doing it all but with what the schools are teaching, we noticed a dramatic drop after we started teaching this new curriculum,” Smith said.