ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Just a year ago, Etowah County didn’t have a DARE program or SRO’s at all the schools.
This week, the sheriff’s office hosted a DARE conference.
On Wednesday, Etowah County deputies, along with police officers from Southside, Rainbow City, and Altoona, received certifications as DARE officers.
They’d taken some two weeks of classes just as Sheriff Jonathon Horton put School Resource officers in all schools in the Etowah County system.
Horton says the DARE program is more important than ever, in the midst of the opioid epidemic.
“We all can work toward common goals, it’s a big deal for me to help our children and it hopefully produces a safer future and that’s what we’re working at, and that makes today a milestone,” Horton told reporters.
Horton says Etowah County now has the largest DARE presence in Alabama.
DARE officials from Montgomery and as far away as Louisville, Mississippi taught the classes.
They said the program has evolved into a lot more than “say no to drugs.”