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The Sheriff’s Office strives to make every contact with the community a positive one. When possible, we are proud to join with local citizens, civic groups, and education leaders to furnish a variety of community-based, partnership programs that provide educational opportunities for the citizens of Vanderburgh County.

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Every youngster should have the opportunity to grow-up healthy, safe, secure, and equipped with the skills needed to succeed in life. Contemporary America, however, is rampant with challenges that could keep children from a positive life path.

D.A.R.E.’s primary mission is to provide children with the information and skills they need to live drug-and-violence-free lives. The goal is to equip kids with the tools that will enable them to avoid negative influences and allow them to focus on their strengths and potential. D.A.R.E. also establishes positive relationships between students and law enforcement, teachers, parents, and other community leaders.

The D.A.R.E. curriculum is taught by sheriff’s deputies whose training and experience give them the background needed to answer the sophisticated questions often posed by young students about drugs and crime. Prior to entering the D.A.R.E. program, deputies undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills. 40 hours of additional training are provided to D.A.R.E. instructors to prepare them to teach the high school curriculum.

D.A.R.E. goes beyond traditional drug abuse and violence prevention programs. It gives children the skills needed to recognize and resist the subtle and overt pressures that cause them to experiment with drugs or become involved in gangs or violent activities.

D.A.R.E. is universally viewed as an internationally recognized model of community policing. The United States Department of Justice has identified how D.A.R.E. benefits local communities:

  • D.A.R.E. “humanizes” the police: that is, young people can begin to relate to officers as people.
  • D.A.R.E. permits students to see officers in a helping role, not just an enforcement role.
  • D.A.R.E. opens lines of communication between law enforcement and youth.
  • D.A.R.E. Officers can serve as conduits to provide information beyond drug-related topics.
  • D.A.R.E. opens dialogue between the school, police, and parents to deal with other issues.

Deputy Todd Dedmond and Deputy Brian Spradlin are the lead D.A.R.E. Officers for the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office. For more information about the D.A.R.E. Program in Vanderburgh County or to see how you can partner with us, contact the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office at 812-421-6201 or go to

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office is active in the following schools:

Lodge, Resurrection, Corpus Christi, Stringtown, Scott, Holy Redeemer, Cedar Hall, Delaware, Stockwell, Scott, Highland, Glenwood, St. Joe Catholic, Good Shepherd, Westside Catholic, St. Theresa, Lincoln, Holy Rosary, Caze, West Terrace, Cynthia Heights, Evansville Day School, St. Benedict, Harper, Vogel, Tekoppel, Daniel Wertz, Hebron, Dexter, Evansville Lutheran, Holy Spirit, and Christ The King.

K-9 Demo

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit enjoys the partnership they have with the community and they receive numerous requests every year for K9 demonstrations. Few events promote the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit better than public demonstrations of the K9’s abilities to civic and private organizations. Because much of their police work is done without fanfare and headlines and news crews do not come into the woods or buildings with them to capture the suspect, a well-prepared and performed demo gives them the ability to showcase the K-9 Unit. A presentation to one person or thousands will influence the success of the program.

All K9’s with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office are required to certify at a UPSCA sanctioned PD-1 trial. A basic K9 Patrol Dog Course is approximately six weeks including a combination of USPCA PD-1 training, tracking, building and area searches, and narcotic training. Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office K9 Teams are required to be proficient in ability, obedience, evidence searches, suspect searches, and criminal apprehension work. We rely only on experts in the field to decide which dogs will satisfy our needs and serve the citizens of Vanderburgh County best.

In addition, each handler also has to complete a portion of classroom education about case law and instructions on general canine health and veterinary issues.

To schedule a demonstration, please contact Major Jason Ashworth at 812-421-6300.

Ride Along Program

The Vanderburgh County Ride Along Program is an effort in increase the understanding of how your sheriff’s office functions. This program allows civilians a chance to ride with a deputy sheriff on patrol, ask questions and see first-hand what happens during a patrol shift.


Any person 18 years of age or older, with no felony arrests, may participate in this program once a year. Anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 may participate if they are a full-time student and have written permission from a parent or legal guardian. All participates must complete a ride-along request in advance and submit it to the Major of Operations at the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Command Post.

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