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                 The Scotts Valley Police Department D.A.R.E. program's primary mission is to

                 provide children with the information and skills they need to live drug and

                 violence-free lives. Through D.A.R.E. we establish positive relationships between

                 students and law enforcement, teachers, parents, and other community leaders.


D.A.R.E.'s innovative and highly effective curriculum was developed by Los Angeles Unified School District health education specialists. Our D.A.R.E. officers receive 80 hours of special training to be equipped with all the tools they need to teach a course in drug resistance and violence avoidance techniques.


D.A.R.E. lessons focus on providing accurate information about alcohol and drugs, teaching students decision-making skills, and showing them how to resist peer pressure. Our D.A.R.E. officers give students ideas for alternatives to drug use and violence.


Originally designed for elementary school students, D.A.R.E. has been expanded to reach middle and high school students as well. D.A.R.E. officers from Scotts Valley Police Department currently teach at Baymonte Christian School, Vine Hill School, Brook Knoll School, Scotts Valley Middle School, and Scotts Valley High School.


Our curriculum is open for review to any member of the community. For more information please contact the Scotts Valley Police Department at (831) 440-5670, or visit the D.A.R.E. website.



Junior Police Academy dates for 2024:  June 10-14 and July 22-26

Click here to download a registration form and liability waiver.


The Scotts Valley Police Departments Junior Police Academy functions as the department's in-house PAL (Police Activities League) program. It provides students with alternatives to drugs, violence, and other illegal activities through exciting events and educational programs.


Our Junior Police Academy has been running since 2000. This year we offer two week-long sessions, each with room for twenty students. Our program reaches out to students entering 6th, 7th and 8th grades.


If you would like to receive more information on the department's Junior Police Academy please contact the Investigations Unit by email or call at (831) 440-5670.


What is the Juvenile Diversion Program?

The SVPD Diversion Program is a second chance for juveniles who are arrested for minor crimes and who show a willingness to learn from their mistake. It is a way to correct behavior without involving the Juvenile Justice System in Santa Cruz County. For successful candidates, their local record is changed. Their status in the original report is changed from being an arrested party to being a contacted party. It is important to understand that once anyone is arrested, an arrest report is written and submitted electronically to the Department of Justice.


The Diversion Program has four goals. First, the program is designed to assist a juvenile offender's learning process as it relates to the crime(s) committed. This is accomplished through written essays designed to address decision-making, responsibility for one's actions, the effects of victimization, etc. Second, this department strives to deter future crime by monitoring obedience to the law, municipal codes and additional terms of diversion, such as voluntary submission to search by peace officers. Third, the diversion program desires scholastic success from juvenile offenders. A juvenile's grades and attendance are often monitored for improvement. Lastly, the juvenile offender must give back to their community as a way to make amends and truly take responsibility for their actions.


What is the next step?

After a juvenile is arrested and released to a parent/guardian, a report is written and submitted to the Juvenile Detective if, in the opinion of the arresting officer, the juvenile arrestee is both eligible and suitable to participate in the diversion program. This process can take a couple weeks, so please be patient. If the juvenile is deemed ineligible or an unlikely candidate for successful diversion, a letter will be mailed explaining the reasons for denial. Otherwise, a representative from this department will contact a parent/guardian to schedule an initial interview. To assist, parents/guardians and juvenile arrestees with scheduled appointments are requested to do the following:


Juvenile: Your first assignment is an essay. It must be a minimum of 750 words and will be in the format described herein with one exception: Bring the original with you to the initial interview with the Juvenile Detective. Your parents should read it before the interview. Your essay should address the reason(s) you believe you should be allowed to participate in the diversion program. It is in essence your application, and it will be evaluated for remorse and overall attitude regarding your arrest. Anything you may have done to make amends (letters of apology, monetary restitution, etc.) should be documented, and you should include any discipline imposed upon you by your parents/guardians.


Parents/Guardians: Please talk to your child regarding his/her first assignment and ensure their essay is their best work. Your child's learning will come from your conversations with him/her. Please complete the following forms and bring them to the scheduled interview:


Contact & Medical Information Form
Community Service Agreement & Waiver of Liability Form
Community Service Work Verification Form


What should we expect in the initial interview?

Parents/Guardians, the juvenile arrestee and the Juvenile Detective will sit down and review the juvenile's arrest together. We will talk about the juvenile's first essay assignment and why he/she would be a likely candidate for success. The juvenile arrestee should approach this with the same attitude as a job interview. Sit upright, be polite, speak clearly and maintain eye contact. Juvenile arrestees who appear disinterested, exhibit a poor attitude, show little to no remorse for their actions or who do lack the desire to make amends will not be selected to participate. This is the time to ask questions of the Juvenile Detective. A contract will be presented, and it will only be entered if all parties present agree to the terms.


What is required for writing assignments?

All essays must be original work. This is not to suggest that a juvenile cannot use thoughts and ideas from teachers, parents or guardians. Proofreading is welcome, but the writing must be their own. Essays will have a font size of 12 and will be double-spaced. Use of proper spelling, grammar and punctuation is required, but an essay that shows effort will not be returned for a few minor errors. Essays should be written by the same standards that a teacher would expect to see.


Once the essay is written, the parent/guardian should read the essay for format and content, with emphasis placed on the latter. The purpose of the essays is to foster conversations between the juvenile and his/her parents or guardians. Essays are also used to monitor the juvenile's thought process as he/she learns from their mistake with guidance by parents/guardians.


After reviewing and discussing the essay with the juvenile, the parent/gaurdian is asked to initial the essay as an acknowledgement that it was reviewed. The juvenile will then bring the essay with them to their scheduled appointment with the Juvenile Detective. Essays will be returned if they are disorganized, lacking in effort, not in the correct format or that exhibit a lack of learning. All returned essays will be considered late unless the second submission is returned before the original due date. Late essays will almost always result in an additional, longer writing assignment. Punctuality is the juvenile's responsibility, so plenty of time should be allotted for review by a parent/guardian.


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