DARE is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. It gives the kids the life skills they need to avoid involvement with drugs (alcohol and tobacco), gangs and violence.
The DARE program is taught to all Norwalk 5th grade students. Just a few things we implement in DARE are learning how to have high self-esteem, saying NO to peer pressure, and how to be positive role models. The classes have scenario based sessions that shows students ways to say NO in various negative situations. We teach the program with the hope that the students will take what they have learned in DARE and apply it to their own lives and make the choice to lead a Drug Free Life.
LYFE (Limitless Youth For Excellence)
The LYFE program serves to create relationships with youth and law enforcement by providing positive messages and fun. Multiple events are held throughout the year where students can interact with Norwalk Officers by playing games, going on local field trips and giving back to the community.
Jr. Police Academy
This program is a partnership between the Parks and Rec Department and the Norwalk Police, and is an opportunity for the police officers to build a positive bridge with the youth of the community. Cadets will take part in fingerprinting, investigating a crime scene, taking photos, casting footprints, and running an obstacle course. It is available for students who have completed 3rd - 6th grade and is usually held in July.
Each spring the police, parks and recreation and fire departments collaborate to conduct a bike rodeo for area youth. Participants are taught the “rules of the road”, the importance of safety equipment, and how to complete an inspection of their bicycles. Several obstacle courses allow the kids to show off what they have learned and help identify areas they may need to improve upon. All participants in need receive a new helmet and get the opportunity to win a new bike. This event culminates with the annual Mayor's bike ride.
Drug and Alcohol Awareness
Norwalk officers' conduct a variety of drug and alcohol awareness classes each year in addition to the DARE program. These classes are conducted in the Norwalk secondary schools. Officers serve as guest speakers in the health and government classes. These classes help to continue the development of positive relationships with Norwalk teens. High school students especially enjoy the bi-annual classes utilizing the departments Fatal Vision Goggles. Students attempt to perform several tasks that include driving a golf cart through an obstacle course, while experiencing the simulated effect alcohol has on their vision. Students frequently comment on their inability to complete the scenarios that would otherwise have been quite simple.
Upon request, Norwalk officers will conduct a core of classes based on Developmental Assets. Eight classes are divided into four external asset categories (support, empowerment, boundaries & expectation, and constructive use of time) and four internal asset categories (commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity). This program is taught as part of the school health curriculum or in conjunction with various summer camps.
Personal and Situational Safety
Working closely with the schools, daycares, area church groups, and the Warren County Extension Office, Norwalk officers provide annual safety classes throughout the community. Popular topics include stranger danger, pedestrian safety, babysitting safety, and internet safety.
The Law and You
This class gives our teenage residents education in topics such as probable cause, reasonable suspicion, and search and seizure etc. The course is designed to teach the students about how our constitutional protections are applied by law enforcement and how those protections give citizens their rights and responsibilities.
Lunch with the Chief
From time to time, the Chief of Police will visit the elementary schools and speak to one of the classes. After a short talk about what it's like to be a police officer and how to make good decisions, the Chief heads to the cafeteria with the class for lunch.