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West Carthage to fund DARE program for Carthage schoolchildren

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WEST CARTHAGE — Following a discussion at the Dec. 2 Board of Trustees meeting, the board agreed to fund the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program at Carthage Central School District.

Since the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department no longer offers the program because of staffing cuts and the village has hired a certified DARE instructor as a part-time patrolman, the board decided to fund the program at a cost of up to $3,000.

Trustee David Z. Rounds said he was “strongly opposed” to the proposal and voted against the measure. He had suggested at the Nov. 12 meeting to ask other municipalities to help fund the program. “I can’t see having taxpayers’ money spent at the school,” Mr. Rounds said.

David J. Pustizzi, officer in charge for the village police department, supported the decision.

“There are not many certified DARE instructors ... it’s a great program,” he said.

Village Mayor Scott M. Burto compared providing the DARE program to providing the summer recreation program.

The program educates fifth-graders on the dangers of drug use and how to fend off peer pressure to experiment with drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

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