Sheriff's Deputy Timothy McGinness usually finds himself fighting crime, but today, he stands in front of a classroom with hopes that his message will send a clear message to students.
"Usually I get on the tail end of the program by the time I'm dealing with them. They've already committed a crime or they're already doing something negative in our society," said McGinness.
McGinness dedicates his time as teacher for the drug abuse resistance education program, or better known as D.A.R.E
For 10-weeks, 5th graders at McNair Elementary School will get a chance to learn about drug prevention and the skills needed to say no to drugs, gangs, and violence.
"Part of our job as educators and administrators is to make sure the students are provided or supplied with the tools they need to make those good choices in school and outside of school," said Principal Sean Monahan.
The principal tells WTVO News the program was eliminated due to several budget cuts, but with proper funding school officials were able to reintroduce the program for the 2012- 2013 school year.
"The PTO does a lot of fundraising and we basically pin pointed one of our fundraisers to have that money slated towards the dare program," PTO President Tamie Murtul.
But making room for the program can be difficult. Of the 28 elementary schools in Rockford District 205, Cherry Valley Elementary School was the only school with the D.A.R.E program.
McGinness believes it's important to have resources like D.A.R.E to educate young children so they can make the right choices when they come face to face with drugs and gangs.
"As you become older and become an adult-- some of the things that you can get into or hear those things or situations are possibilities of programs that could occur. Maybe they'll think about those things better than they do and maybe reduce crimes," said McGinness.
The program wraps up with a graduation ceremony at the end of November.