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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Home Government D.A.R.E. to Cut: Rye Eliminating PD Youth Officer

D.A.R.E. to Cut: Rye Eliminating PD Youth Officer


Rye is cutting down to the Wood. That's Rye PD Detective John Wood. He'll keep his PD job, but his role as the sole the youth officer in the Rye Police department's Youth Division is being eliminated. He has held the role for 15 years.

According to the Rye PD web page "Among his responsibilities are D.A.R.E., juvenile crime, family court proceedings, drug and alcohol related crimes among minors and liaison between Child Protective Services and the department. The youth officer, Detective John Wood, maintains a presence in the Rye City School System by interacting with students and teachers in the various schools on a regular basis… Det. Wood has been with the department since 1980. He has held various jobs in the department including firearms instructor."

Emails are circulating across town encouraging interested residents to share their views during this Wednesday's city council meeting.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.


  1. What a shame we live in the town we live in that people don’t understand the value of Dare. One of the important factors is the relationship Det. Wood has with our children. He gets to know them in 5th grade and when they get in trouble in 11th grade he will know and remember them and be there for them. Isn’t Dare almost self funding from the state? Dare isn’t going to change the budget by any remarkable status. Leave something for our children.

  2. This is the 1 biggest mistake this Council can make!!!

    First they are talking about less cops and firemen, now a direct attack on our children!!!

    Why has there been no talk of getting rid of Connors?

    In 2007 Connors received a “vote of no confident”.

    He receives the largest paycheck (excluding OT) of the RPD.

    Get rid of Connors and his position, move one of the Lieutenants to Chief, eliminate one of the other Lieutenant positions, and take it from there.

    The last thing we should be doing is getting rid of the 1 Officer whom actually cares about the kids!

    So, who is going to take on his Responsibilities, or don’t you care???

  3. We recently had occasion to meet Det. Wood following an incident on our street involving several high school students. I was impressed with his knowledge of the students, his combination of compassion and toughness and his approach to the issues this incident presented. Given the stresses and temptations that our children face, it would seem that his focus on the youth of our community is more important than ever.

  4. Big Big Mistake!!!! Det. Wood has a wonderful relationship with all the children/adults in Rye and to do away with D.A.R.E. is a shame for our children. I agree with AboveAvg.Citizen that something else should be eliminated and do not take away D.A.R.E. from the schools. I feel it absolutely helps our children and is such a valuable asset as the children enter Middle School and High School. Think of the children of Rye and nothing else!!!

  5. Avg.Citizen,

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. City Council is already looking to make cuts in that direction, this makes perfect sense.

    We would rid ourselves of a Commissioner that should have never of been hired to begin with. The entire Dept. does not want to work for this man, no secret there, his mngmt skills are no where worth the money he is paid. Along with the money saved the PD might finally get back on track with new or different leadership, which will hopefully make our streets and children much safer.

    One of the Lt’s is a pencil pusher, surely we can do around that!

    Det.Wood is the one Officer that has a repor with our kids. He is the one Officer that in the very least tries to understand them for what they are….CHILDREN!

    Officer Wood isn’t looking to make Sgt. or Lt. by collaring our kids like some of the Officers on the force.

    How do you do away with the one Officer that probably spends more time with our kids (for the good) than we do ourselves.

    The thought of this SICKENS ME!

    How many of us as parents can actually stand up and say we have or will teach our kids the exact same knowledge they get from Det.Wood???

  6. Just curious, but where are people getting the idea that Detective Wood is to be let go? From what I read in the original post, the DARE program is to be eliminated, but Detective Wood is to be retained and his time re-directed.

    And to play the contrarian for a second (that’s unusual for me, right?), there’s huge value in Detective Wood knowing the kids, but the DARE program achieves builds that knowledge through an awful lot of school instruction time. There’s got to be a “cheaper” (in terms of educational hours) way to build the police force’s knowledge of our kids than the current approach.

  7. Bob,
    We all realize that it is his position and not himself that is being eliminated!

    Are you saying Rye has no need for a Youth Officer? Det.Wood’s relationship with our kids is because of his employment as the Youth Officer.
    I guess you see no value in that?

    Who shall we ask to come to the schools and do what he does, Connors? Who will be attending Juvenile/Family Court on behalf of the kids who need him,Verille?

    Ask your children their opinion, then come back and give us your thoughts!

    Bob, what should be done about the Officer with the Highest OT (OVER 50G’s)?

  8. Why is any one surprised?

    Rye used to have a Youth Officer and a DARE Officer. The first thing carpetbagger Connors did upon his arrival here from NYPD was to combine these two positions into one.

    The next thing he did was to force the Rye cops to illegally detain minors for hanging out in front of Starbucks.

    Parents complained about their minor children being detained and being brought to the police station.

    The next thing Connors did was to try to pass an unconstitutional and illegal law that would allow him to order Rye cops to detain minor children for hanging out on the sidewalk which would have still violated the children’s constitutional rights.

    Mayor Otis and the City Council were amazingly on the verge of passing this into Rye law until some people with actual brains in their heads came forward to bring it to a halt. Hint: It wasn’t Plunkett, Novak or Shew.

    Now this carpetbagger wants to eliminate the Youth Officer/DARE Officer position.

    I say the City Council gets rid of Connors position and keep the Youth Officer/DARE Officer.

    Next up should be getting rid of the three do nothing except collect overtime Lieutenants. These three combine to make in the $500,000- $600,000 range every year and they don’t do anything.

  9. “Honest” Citizen – you’d be more Honest if you used your real name.

    Regardless, I also question the value Osborn’s ballroom dancing exercise. But I think you need to focus on one item at a time and the point at hand is what is the most time efficient way for the police force to get to know our children. You can react emotionally to a program (DARE) that has been in place a long time or you can try to think about how to make things better.

    And yes, I have spoken with my children – and others – about DARE. And I have consistently heard critical feedback. Looks like a feel good exercise.

    So, to summarize
    Detective Wood – good guy; does a great job. good that he’s being retained because many look up to and respect him.

    DARE program – questionable program. Is there not a better way / cheaper / outside school hours to achieve realtionship building. Note that is not supposed to be the purpose of the DARE program.

  10. AboveAvg,

    As I have no first-hand knowledge to opine on any of the individuals you have mentioned, I can’t say that I agree or not. But your logic is flawed.

    You want to eliminate two positions (PC and a Lt) because you feel the occupants are incompetent. That is not a reason to eliminate the position, it’s a reason to replace the occupants.

    Also, what would replacing the commissioner’s position with a chief accomplish? If you say that it will ensure that the Chief will come from within the ranks, I say that is not the best answer. First of all, you limit the personnel that can run your department. Second, the same people who appoint the commissioner will appoint the chief. And that candidate will most likely come from the Lt rank, which a lot of people here feel is staffed with more under-performing officers.

    Be careful what you wish for…

  11. Questioning DARE’s effectiveness does not mean you support “attacks on our children” or ballroom dancing or any other such nonsense.
    (I also find it interesting that the same people who complain the loudest about taxes complain about program cuts — but that’s another topic)
    I can’t comment as to the value of individual members of the department, except to say that I have found Lt. Falk to be responsive, pleasant and not at all condescending whenever I’ve dealt with him.
    My husband worked for years undercover in narcotics, which is how he made detective at age 26. He also had over 600 collars when he retired, despite years spent on various task forces where no arrests are made.
    I write this not to brag about him, although I like to on occasion, but to indicate he knows what he’s talking about regarding DARE.
    He said it’s widely known among cops that DARE is a waste of money and it does nothing to warn children away from drugs.
    There is, however, a direct correlation between parents alcohol consumption and children’s use of drugs. So maybe we should assign an officer to the country club beat educating adults about getting hammered.

  12. Charmian –

    Not just country clubs. They’d also have to watch all the local restaurants, the Pub, Rye Grill and Bar, Town Dock, The Tavern, Johnny’s Seaside, the Tiki Bar, Wine at Five, Vaccaro’s, any grocery store that sells beer. Oh, and they’d have to somehow police all the private dinner and cocktail parties that occur every Friday and Saturday night at dozens of homes…

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