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DARE to Defend Sheriff?

August 13, 2002

Delegate Dick Black's wife Barbara is in intensive care and needs our prayers for an unexpected and very serious operation. Please join me in a prayer for her and her family at this time.


The Board is out of session but Chairman York and Supervisor Burton are calling for an "audit" of Sheriff Steve Simpson's department because Simpson wants to abolish part of an unneeded preventive program in order to keep more deputies in the street fighting crime or investigating criminal acts. I will NOT vote for any "audit".

I am awarding these two, Chairman York and Supervisor Burton my First Golden Fleece Award for pushing boondoggles in a shameless manner. My congratulations to them both.

The First Golden Fleece Award is named in memory of U.S. Senator William Proxmire (Democrat- Wisconsin) who regularly exposed boondoggles in the federal government. Proxmire named hundreds of boondoggles. I can only hope I don't have to do that. Here's the reasons.

  1. Sheriff Simpson is responding to a request from the county administrator who asked the Sheriff for a million dollars in reductions in the Sheriff's Office to make up for (my predicted) shortfall of tax revenue. The Sheriff complied.
  2. Both York and Burton know that the deputies are understaffed by the standards of the county's own level of service criteria.
  3. An audit of the Sheriff's office is really an audit of the county itself because all funds, all bookkeeping, all check writing goes through the office of the finance in the county government building. The aduditor, who ever that is, will join the list of unnecessary studies that keep showing the Sheriff to be operating in an honest and efffecient manner -- while being understaffed.
  4. The DARE program is considered a worthy target for downsizing. It is a prevention program with some controversy connected to it and is under the heading of prevention. The Sheriff is keeping some of the program for the elementary schools, and looking to keep all his investigative and enforcement numbers stable.
  5. By acting as if there is a crisis, York and Burton attempting to take attention away from other wrongful actions of the this board during a financial downturn, proposals for downzoning and density packing being savaged universally by business, farmers and its thousands of victims, supporting property tax increases, budget growth and a hefty sales tax increase, too.


When asked by a member of the news media "Is the Sheriff's Office properly funded?", I said "12 months ago, Sheriff Simpson worked at Finance Committee meetings explaining how the county has understaffed his department by their own standards and that the budget did not reflect the actual board of Supervisors policy of an adequate level of service. It took months, but the top financial officers of the county government ultimately came back and agreed with Sheriff Simpson's point of view and said that in order to properly staff the Sheriff's Department at the level of service required by current Board policy, that many more deputies would be needed. Most Supervisors accepted this. And the financial policy wonks set about planning on gradually increasing the number of new hires -- at the direction of the board.


For years, in study after study, the DARE program does not prove out its effectiveness, although it is popular with some adults who want some official reaction from the law enforcement community to the drug epedemic. There are better programs, such as intervention and dedicated counseling.

Here's what a major study says (see full abstract from study from the University of Illinois at Chicago at end of this e-mail after my sign off) "The results indicate that D.A.R.E. had no long-term effects on a wide range of drug use measures"

The latest commentary by Reason magazine Jacob Sullum states bluntly: One study after another has found that students who complete DARE (a.k.a. Drug Abuse Resistance Education) are just as likely to use drugs as students who don't.


A study in the latest issue of the journal Health Education Research concludes that many schools use "heavily marketed curricula that have not been evaluated, have been evaluated inadequately or have been shown to be ineffective in reducing substance abuse." The lead researcher, Denise Hallfors of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, does not mince words in her evaluation of DARE. "There's no scientific rationale whatsoever for maintaining DARE in the schools," she says.

For entire article and other studies, visit


At a time when we should be preparing and planning to honor our law enforcement officials as the one year anniversary of September 11 th approaches, this is not a time to launch personal vendettas.

This board majority always has to blame someone else for its failures. Farmers own land and that's bad. Conservatives are bad because they never want to raise taxes. The nasty people who have lights on destroy the darkness of the night sky.Santa Claus, merriment and Christmas lights are "garrish".

It is NEVER the fault of the grand poobahs in Leesburg who overspend and than accuse the people making up for their overspending as being wasteful.


Santa Claus (aka Jim Clarke) visits the Government building to protest the dark skys.


County Administrator Kirby Bowers sent out an "advisory" that he would be posting general information concerning the "benefits" and "specific programs" being funded by the proposed sales tax increase on the county's website and in information handouts in the main lobby of the government building. I responded as follows, in part,

"I think this action of placing "impartial" (sic) information about the referendum is clearly an improper action to produce propaganda at government expense for a regional referendum that is controversial enough without confusing even more people by this move. I believe it would be fair to say that say published statement on this topic should come from a board of supervisors resolution and not a staff person." I met with county staff to explain my opposition, and wrote all the other supervisors. Supervisor Harris disagreed with me and wrote back "I think providing the factual data concerning the referendum in this way is a wise thing to do."


The liberals said that conservatives can not get elected. Here comes a conservative loud mouth who roared from no where to become a Virginia State Senator. And worse news is in store. The Senate loses an old Democrat and we again pick up a Senate seat up here and guess what: another long time outspoken conservative pro-family leader is going to run for that seat: Delegate Jay OBrien.

In just a few weeks, the Virginia State Senate will tilt to the right even more with two new anti-Tax increase Senators.

For any that are interested, the swearing in ceremony is scheduled to take place in the Senate Chamber in Richmond on Monday, August 19th at high noon. All are invited, but there are 90 seats in the gallery, so Senator Cuccinelli needs to know how many of you are coming. Please RSVP as soon as possible. Call 703-766-0635 if you can go.


Information about the zoning ordinance revision and re-mapping project, including the draft zoning ordinance language and proposed maps, are available online on the county's website at

The short answer to the question "how does this effect Sterling"? : As downzoning is installed in western Loudoun and three quarters of the county become a No Growth zone, all the remaining growth will occur in the Eastern portion of the county, with traffic getting worse and the taxpayers of Sterling bearing the brunt of paying for services for that 3/4's of the county with a population requiring essential services over a wide area but with no private taxpayer or commercial taxpayer base. Sterling will get "density packed" and "density taxed" due to these ordinances. There will be no technical "increase" in houses per acre here, but relative to the rest of the county, this is where the only housing or commercial growth will take place (in Eastern Loudoun). To comment on the ordinances, there will be hearings Wednesday, August 14 and Saturday August 17 in the government building.


Leah and Friends invites you to become a sponsor for the Light the Night Walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to be held at the Reston Town Center on September 28,2002. Leah is a 2 and 1/2 year old girl from Sterling who has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. They are looking for sponsors to be placed on the back of our team T-shirt for $1000, $500, and $250. In addition, they are looking for a major sponsor on the front for $5000. Not only will you be on their T-shirt, but your business will be mentioned in e-mail promotions, a program, at the event, and in the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society newsletter. You will also receive a letter, suitable for framing, acknowledging your gift and can have your picture taken presenting your gift, if you desire. You can contact Carrie Holdcraft at or 703-481-3387. Thank you in advance for your support in finding a cure for blood-related cancers, the leading killer of children.

(abstract of study summarizing wastefulness of DARE)

by Dennis P. Rosenbaum, Ph.D. Professor and Head and Gordon S. Hanson, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Department of Criminal Justice and Center for Research in Law and Justice
University of Illinois at Chicago
April 6, 1998

ABSTRACT A randomized longitudinal field experiment was conducted to estimate the short- and long-term effects of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.) on students' attitudes, beliefs, social skills, and drug use behaviors. Students from urban, suburban, and rural schools (N=1798) were followed for more than six years, with surveys administered each year from 6th through 12th grades. Teachers were also surveyed annually to measure students' cumulative exposure to supplemental (post-D.A.R.E.) drug education. Multi-level analyses (random-effects ordinal regression) were conducted on seven waves of post-treatment data.

The results indicate that D.A.R.E. had no long-term effects on a wide range of drug use measures, nor did it show a lasting impact on hypothesized mediating variables, with one exception. Previously documented short-terms effects had dissipated by the conclusion of the study. D.A.R.E., although ineffective by itself over the long haul, appears to inoculate students against the apparent negative aspects of supplemental drug education. Some D.A.R.E.-by-Community interactions were observed: urban and rural communities showed some benefits, while suburban areas experienced small adverse effects from participation.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is the nation's most popular school-based drug education program it is administered in approximately 70% of the nation's school districts, reaching 25 million students in 1996, and has been adopted in 44 foreign countries (Law Enforcement News 1996). Its effectiveness in combating drug usage, however, has been a matter of bitter controversy, and this debate is taking place in the context of rising drug use among our nation's youth. After experiencing large declines in drug use in the 1980s, the national trend began to reverse in the early 1990s: the percentage of high school seniors who reported using illegal drugs "during the past year" increased from 22 percent in 1992 to 35 percent in 1995 – a 59 percent increase (Johnston et al. 1996). Marijuana is one drug where dramatic increases were observed. The number of eighth graders who reported using marijuana during their lifetime jumped from 10.2 percent in 1991 to 19.9 percent in 1995 – a 92 percent increase.

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