Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Martha Copp

Committee Members

Robert Leger, Dennis Hamm


Most studies of the Drug Awareness Resistance Education (DARE) program evaluate the program’s effectiveness; this thesis instead examines the police officers who implement the program. Based on interviews with 12 DARE officers in the Northeast region of Tennessee, the thesis explores how members of this special category of police officers identify themselves. The DARE officer interviews were compared with published literature on conventional police officers. All DARE officers interviewed defined themselves as police officers but did little to no actual police work, nor were they viewed by patrol officers as “real” police officers. Instead, DARE officers functioned primarily as educators. In order to maintain their identity as police officers, DARE officers employed the use of props. These props presented the visual image of a police officer and, therefore, allowed DARE officers to define themselves as such.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Sociology Commons