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Big Island police, students celebrate DARE Day in East Hawai’i : Big Island Now

The Hawaii Police Department and its school resource officers are congratulating the 2024 graduates of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, also known as DARE.

The Hawaii Police Department and students from several East Hawai’i schools celebrated DARE Day on May 23 in Hilo. (Photo courtesy of the Hawaii Police Department)

East Hawai’i students at Hilo Intermediate, Waiākea Intermediate, Pāhoa Elementary, Kea’au Elementary and Pāhoa Intermediate schools celebrated the completion of the DARE program on May 23rd.

This year’s event was particularly significant as it was the first large gathering of DARE alumni in 2019, after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hosted at Kawamoto Swim Stadium in Hilo, the day began with Master of Ceremonies Captain Roy Valera delivering the opening remarks to the more than 600 enthusiastic students in attendance.

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Police Chaplain Renee Godoy gave the benediction, followed by the presentation of colors by the Hilo Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and the singing of the national anthem by Honoka’a High School’s Kaylan Gomes.

Hawaii Police Department Chief Ben Moszkowicz then gave opening remarks and words of encouragement before giving the students a day of fun and excitement for all their hard work.

After the opening ceremony and the students reciting the DARE pledge, they were presented with a road collision response scenario.

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Big Island police worked with the Hawaii Fire Department to simulate how medics would provide aid in a collision that resulted in serious injuries. The Fire Police helicopter arrived and transported the victim from the area, to the amazement and cheers of the students.

The students also got a demonstration of the Police Department’s Special Response Team, which tackled a bomb threat using a robot.

The event also included water slides, swimming, carnival games and other activities. An inter-school tug-of-war championship resulted in Waiākea Intermediate School winning. A perpetual trophy will be displayed in the school’s trophy case.

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The Hawai’i Police Department is grateful to the public and private volunteer groups for assisting with the event, as well as county agencies, especially the Hawai’i Department of Parks and Recreation and the District Attorney’s Office, for donating many of the prizes awarded. that day.

Big Island police hope the DARE Day celebration will continue to grow in appreciation among students who have completed the program.

DARE is a nationally recognized initiative that teaches students how to make good decisions, be responsible and manage bullying and peer pressure.