Each year Officer Travis Counts teaches the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program at Paducah Middle School. The nation-wide program started in 1992 with the mission of preventing youth crime, violence, and gang involvement. The curriculum focuses on decision-making and refusal skills toward drugs, gang involvement, and other dangerous/criminal situations. The program addresses how to deal effectively with peer pressure and works with kids on goal planning. Officer Counts graduated 165 middle school students from the G.R.E.A.T. program in 2013. For more information about the G.R.E.A.T. program, visit the G.R.E.A.T website.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is a 10-week curriculum taught in 5th grade at all the city elementary schools as well as St. Mary Elementary School. Several officer instructors divide the responsibility of teaching the classes. The D.A.R.E. program has been around since the mid-1980s, but it has undergone several major curriculum updates. It focuses on how students can avoid drugs, make smart decisions, and exercise self-control with confidence when faced with a bad situation. The program in taught in hundreds of cities and counties across the United States and in 49 countries around the world.
In 2016, 267 elementary students graduated from the D.A.R.E. program. Also, the officers held many visits with students in kindergarten through 3rd grades. For more information about the D.A.R.E. program, visit the D.A.R.E. website.
In the following video, Community Resource Officer Gretchen Morgan with the Paducah Police Department talks about D.A.R.E.
If you are interested in financially supporting the D.A.R.E. program by donating to the Paducah-McCracken County Drug Council, contact Officer Gretchen Morgan or Officer Chris Fearon. The Paducah-McCracken County Drug Council is a non-profit organization that supports the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. programs. The council was created in 1992 to provide an avenue for businesses and individuals to donate funds to support drug and alcohol resistance programs at local schools. In May 2013, the Paducah-McCracken County Drug Council sponsored a golf scramble which raised $3000 to help pay for t-shirts, certificates, and other program materials.