The Oxnard Police Department's Drug Education for Youth Program (also known as DEFY) began in 1997 with twenty children and a mission to educate and make a difference in the lives of the youth of the City of Oxnard. Today, this program has touched the lives of over 200 hundred youth maintaining our goals and strategy to motivate Oxnard’s youth to reject illegal drugs and substance abuse.
DEFY is a 2-phased prevention program for kids ages 9-12. DEFY is aimed at deterring “at risk” behavior by giving kids the tools they need to resist drugs, gangs, and alcohol. The leadership and life skills provided by DEFY include: goal setting, team building, conflict resolution, and decision making.
The DEFY curriculum is based on two decades of research and incorporates key characteristics of successful prevention programs identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Annual reviews of the curriculum ensure that its current, accurate, and on the cutting edge.
This program produces a measurable positive outcome in: resistance skills, social behavior, gang attitudes, self-esteem, alcohol attitudes, smoking attitudes, and drug knowledge. DEFY which is funded through a federal grant is facilitated by the Oxnard Police Department in conjunction with the armed services such as the United States Coast Guard, the Air National Guard, the Port Hueneme Naval Base.
Phase I is a structured 5-day summer day camp environment that occurs during the summer. During Phase I DEFY youth participate in classroom learning that covers:
In addition, Phase I participants engage in physical fitness training and local field trips. Aside from the education and training the youth receive, Phase I enables youth to bond with police officers who volunteer their time as mentors.
Phase II is a school-year mentoring phase designed to support the training and education received in Phase I. During regularly scheduled activities, police officers and staff provide tutoring and positive reinforcement group and interactive workshops. Field trips and outings have included:
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