A new tool added to the arsenal in the fight against drug abuse is attracting plenty of attention as it travels down the streets of Rothschild, WI, according to Shereen Siewert of the Wausau Daily Herald. The 1996 Ford Crown Victoria has been transformed from a black and white squad car to a brightly-painted, rolling advertisement for the community’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. The new DARE car replaces a 1992 Isuzu Rodeo used by DARE officers during the past several years.
“The kids are really paying attention to it,” said Rothschild police officer Jeff Zwicky, who teaches the DARE curriculum to about 200 students each year. “It’s great to see the kids get so excited about the DARE program. By drawing attention to the program, kids are more likely to want to get involved.”
Rothschild police chief Jeremy Hunt said the makeover on the squad car was a two-year project made possible through the generosity of several Rothschild businesses that donated supplies and manpower. BRB Auto Body technicians designed and completed the exterior repair, while the interior was transformed at Perfect Upholstery.
“Anybody that knows anything about vehicles can just imagine how much time and materials it takes to have an award-winning paint job as the one we have on this vehicle,” Hunt said.
The DARE program, offered to fifth-grade students at three Rothschild schools, aims to prevent drug abuse by teaching students how to resist peer pressure and learn to say “no” to drugs. The program, which is offered at select schools nationwide, focuses on building self esteem and healthy social skills, Zwicky said.