Some years back, state budget cuts meant getting rid of the DARE program — Drug Abuse Resistance Education — in area schools.
When that happened, the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department found a federally-funded program that brings prevention education back into schools.
The county has just been awarded more than $100,000 to implement the GREAT program in area schools.
GREAT stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training.
It places a police officer in schools, educating youth on the hazards of drug use and violence as well as gangs.
For now, there are a few schools in Ishpeming and Gwinn that take part in the program, but other schools are slated to sign up for officer in-school visits as well.
They should help keep kids safe both before and after class.