BANGOR (AP) – Police officials in the Bangor area are calling for an expansion of the state’s pre-kindergarten programs as a way to cut back on high school dropout rates and crime.

Bangor Police Chief Ron Gastia, Veazie Police Chief Mark Leonard and Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross released a report Wednesday showing that high-quality pre-kindergarten is one of the best deterrents against rising dropout rates. They called on the state Legislature and Congress to support pre-kindergarten programs.

The officials said expansion of early childhood education and care programs leads to higher graduation rates, college enrollment and income levels, as well as lower crime rates.

AP-ES-08-21-08 0619EDT

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