After years of wasting tax money on DARE, the discredited drug education program, the city of Cincinnati canned it a while back. Then it brought it back. This Cincy Enquirer article suggests that the nosferatu program–which utilizes some six full-time coppers in a burg with a serious crime problem–has never had much to do with just saying no to drugs. Rather, it's some sort of weird community relations ploy:
"The real value of the program is kids have an opportunity to interact with police in a positive, supporting environment," [Cincinnati City Manager Valerie] Lemmie said.
Here's a better suggestion, one that will save Cincinnati $350,000 on the police side and god knows how much on the school side (other cities must be shelling similar amounts of dough): Teach cops how to do their jobs efficiently and professionally and build trust where its needed most–on the streets where crime actually occurs.
Lemmie's nauseating suggestion that school is the place to run an Officer Friendly outreach program–god forbid schools should focus on literacy and numeracy–calls to mind Reason's great 1995 expose of DARE, one of the first to probe the origins of this prohibitionist boondoggle. Among the article's revelations was how LAPD Daryl Gates (yes, that Daryl Gates, of LA riots fame) coopted the program as way of getting cops on school campuses.