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County students DARE to make better choices

Grade 6 students in Prince Edward County who “DARE” to increase their self-esteem and say ‘no’ to drugs and violence were honoured this week as graduates of the Drug Abuse Restistance Education (DARE) program.
“The nine-week DARE program educates students on the truth about drug use, ways to stay in charge of their lives and encourages kids to make healthy choices for themselves,” said Prince Edward OPP Constable Kim Guthrie.
She instructs the program at eight County public schools. For the culminating activity at St. Gregory’s elementary school, she invited East Region OPP Constable Scott Gannon to bring his 105-lb German Shepherd, Bruin.
Gannon told the students that Bruin lives at his house, but stays outside to be accustomed to the temperature and always be ready to work. He explained Bruin is good with his family, but can never be treated as a pet.
“He must always be ready to work,” Gannon explained, adding that the dog has special collars for his various duties, including sniffing out drugs, bad guys and finding people who are lost.
“If you ever get lost, the best thing to do is find a tree and don’t keep walking around getting tired and hungry,” Gannon told the students. “Find a nice, shady tree and sit there instead of walking around, getting even more lost and dehydrated. Stay put. Bruin is trained to find the freshest human scent, so we will be able to find you more quickly.”
Bruin, he said, smells about one hundred times better than people.
“We smell pizza, but Bruin smells the cheese and the pepperoni.”
While explaining that Bruin was trained to bite and not let go until commanded, Gannon reminded the students to not pet any dogs before they ask permission.
German Shepherds are often the choice for police dogs, Gannon said, as they have the hardest bite next to a Rotweiller, and they have a keener sense of smell. Labradors are also used as specialty dogs, especially in search and recovery missions as they are usually lighter, and more agile.
After the presentation, Constable Guthrie congratulated the students on their successes in the program and the two officers presented each graduate with a Drug Facts for Young People magazine, a certificate, bookmark and special DARE pin. Goodies and snacks donated by Paul Massey, of Tim Hortons.

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  1. Pam McRae says:

    Thanks Kim…you do an incredible job with kids around this community!

  2. im in this pic i graduated and it was very fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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