Starmer named DARE Officer of the Year

Audubon Police Officer Matt Starmer, surrounded by graduates of his DARE program, was awarded the 2014 Iowa DARE Officer of the Year.

Audubon Police Officer Matt Starmer was named 2014 DARE Officer of the Year during the annual banquet on Aug. 4.

Starmer has been a DARE officer for the past eight years, leading the program in the sixth grade classrooms in Audubon and Exira- Elk Horn Kimballton Schools. DARE is a 10 week program that focuses on peer pressure, bullying, alcohol, tobacco and drug use prevention. At the end of the 10 weeks, the students write essays that are submitted to a statewide contest. The quality of those essays are part of the reason Starmer has had such success leading the DARE program.

“My program has become recognizable as a success to others in the state, over the last few years due to the quality and consistency of the essays the students submit for the annual competition,” he said. “This is a direct reflection of our students and both the Audubon and E-EHK school systems.”

The other key factor in Starmer’s success is his ability to connect to his students.