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Oregon City Council on Monday will consider voting in support of the police department’s application for the Ohio Attorney General’s Drug Use Prevention Grant.

Police Chief Mike Navarre said the department applies for the grant annually.

The funds will be used to offset the salary of police officer Sara Shaw, a school resource officer, according to Navarre.

She is expected to receive $2,000 more than last year because her hours are expected to increase to 325 from 208 last year, said Navarre.

“The amount of money we are awarded is based on her hourly wage times the number of hours. There’s no local match required.”

The grant totals $5,414.50.

The Drug Use Prevention Grant Program educates students about the effects of drug use. The Oregon Police Department has sponsored a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in the school district since 1991. D.A.R.E. uses police officers to teach students how to develop skills to resist negative peer pressure.

Grant stipulation
Councilman Tim Zale asked Navarre last week at a committee of the whole meeting whether Shaw would continue as a school resource officer at St. Kateri Catholic Schools, since the grant stipulates that it be used for the Oregon public school system.

“Yes, we’re going to use her in the same fashion as in the past,” said Navarre. “But you raise an interesting question. “Does the 325 hours include the time she spends at Kateri? I don’t know that as of now. I’ll get an answer to you before next Monday’s meeting.”

Zale praised Shaw for doing “an outstanding job.” He also said the D.A.R.E. program is very effective.

“I know some cities have gone away from it, thinking it’s ineffective. I do not agree. I think anything we can do along this line to help educate our children about the dangers of drug use is a good thing. I’m very much in favor of this,” said Zale, a retired Oregon police officer.


Worthwhile program
Councilman James Seaman said the program is “very worthwhile.”

“I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from Kateri, from many of the students, staff and faculty. It’s very worthwhile. We are at epidemic proportions in Lucas County with problems. Anything we can do at the beginning of the education level as a form of intervention before the problem is blown out of proportion is definitely worthwhile in my book,” said Seaman.

Mayor Mike Seferian said one of the advantages of the program that is often overlooked is that it establishes a relationship between the students and the police department “for things in the future.”

“That, and the school resource officer, is a way of working with juveniles. If we set that relationship up in the schools, it’s one of the ways of working with kids to avoid some of the problems. This is one of the tools we have to get a good working relationship with the police department, juveniles and the city, and hopefully avoid things like a curfew.”

 

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