San Antonio Hosts 2018 Texas DARE School Safety Conference

By Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News 

Police  officers and educators from across Texas, and several other states,  are in San Antonio this week for the 2018 Texas DARE and School Safety  Conference, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports. 

DARE  stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and is one of the nation’s  longest-running substance abuse prevention programs. The program began  in California in 1983 and soon spread across America.

 Conference organizer Tim Barlow tells News Radio 1200 WOAI DARE does not focus solely on drug abuse “demand reduction.” 

“Everybody thinks that we’re there just to sing and dance and tell kids  ‘Don’t do drugs,’ ” Barlow says, “but we are a full resource. “We  are there in case of an emergency. We are there in case of a disaster.  We are going to be there for any type of crime involving a child.” 

DARE  constantly changes and addresses both man-made and environmental  threats to campus and child safety, says Barlow, who also is the interim  president of the Texas DARE Officers Association.  

“Everybody  thinks active shooter, but we could have a disaster like a tornado at a  school; we could have the bleachers collapse, or we could have any  number of issues that could come up in a school setting. We’re getting a lot into now things such as the opioid epidemic. They  have a whole brand-new curriculum that just came out on it,” Barlow  says. 

The  conference will offer a range of instructional seminars for peace  officer continuing education credit, including new techniques for police  dog handling, child abuse and neglect investigation, active shooter  response. 

And lessons learned from the most recent armed attacks on  schools.  

This  year’s keynote speaker is retired Texas Ranger Ramiro Martinez who,  earlier in his law enforcement career, was one of the two Austin police  officers who subdued University of Texas Tower sniper Charles Whitman in  1966. 

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