Taking the pledge: Students complete D.A.R.E. program

  • Right: Students react to Hawaii Fire Department rescue personnel using extrication tools to assist an injured person following a mock hit-and-run scenario.

  • The Hawaii Police Department Special Response Team orders the driver of the car involved in a suspected hit-and-run accident to exit the vehicle during a set-up incident for D.A.R.E. program graduates Friday at Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)
  • A Hawaii Police Department officer orders the driver of the car involved in a suspected hit-and-run accident to exit the vehicle as the department's Special Response Team arrives during a set-up incident for D.A.R.E. program graduates Friday at Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)
  • D.A.R.E. mascot Daren checks out the crowd of students that turned out for the D.A.R.E. program graduation ceremony held Friday at Kona Community Aquatic Center. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)
  • D.A.R.E. mascot Daren takes the pledge with Hawaii Police Department officers to remain drug-free during a D.A.R.E. program graduation ceremony held Friday at Kona Community Aquatic Center. (Photos by Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

  • Students take the D.A.R.E. pledge to remain drug-free marking their completion of the D.A.R.E. program during a ceremony held Friday at Kona Community Aquatic Center in Kailua-Kona. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)
  • Students take the D.A.R.E. pledge to remain drug-free marking their completion of the D.A.R.E. program during a ceremony held Friday at Kona Community Aquatic Center in Kailua-Kona. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)
  • Left: Students take the D.A.R.E. pledge to remain drug-free marking their completion of the D.A.R.E. Program Friday at Kona Community Aquatic Center in Kailua-Kona.

KAILUA-KONA — Hundreds of West Hawaii students took the D.A.R.E. pledge to remain drug-free during a ceremony held Friday at Old Kona Airport Park.

The vow was the culmination of the weeks-long Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program led by Hawaii Police Department officers at various schools on the leeward side of Hawaii Island.

After taking the pledge at Kona Community Aquatic Center, the kids got to witness the Hawaii Police Department and its Special Response Team (SRT) and the Hawaii Fire Department in action after police revived a mock report of a hit-and-run incident. The spectacle was followed by fun, games and food.

The D.A.R.E. program was founded in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department to teach school-age children how to resist peer pressure and live drug- and violence-free lives, according to the nonprofit organization’s website. It has been taught in schools throughout Hawaii for more than three decades.

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