Opinion: Safety key during Tahoe-Truckee graduation season
June 12, 2015
The Truckee Police Department, in conjunction with our local law enforcement and emergency response partners, want to remind everyone to have a safe and sober graduation period while extending our congratulations to the 2015 class.
Graduation is a time of collective celebration in our community. This is especially true for our high school seniors and their families who are looking forward to the next chapter in their student's life.
Truckee PD shares in this celebration, but would like to remind everyone this can also be a time of tragedy if some simple, common sense ideas are not followed.
End-of-the-school-year celebrations involve young adults and it is important to remember that they are still young and can be in need of guidance.
Continue to give your kids guidance as they embark on the next stage of their life. Have the hard conversations about responsibility, decision making, and doing the right thing.
Have a plan for how to handle situations that might come up (consuming alcohol, not riding with drinking drivers, unsafe situations) so that your student is ready to face these decisions ahead of time.
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STUDENTS, PLEASE REMEMBER
Do not feel pressured to drink or do drugs.
Never drink and drive. Do not get in a car with anyone who has been drinking or is under the influence. Find a safe way to get home by calling family or the police.
Respect yourself and others. Know you boundaries and don't hesitate to call 911 if you or someone you know is being placed in a dangerous situation.
PARENTS, PLEASE REMEMBER
Know your teenagers' plans. Find out where your student is going, who it's with and what they'll be doing. Make sure all parties are supervised and that you and the responsible adults share the same expectations about party behavior. Be cautious of sleepovers and confirm locations and times with the other involved parents.
Set firm guidelines and expectations for celebrations. Establish a reasonable curfew and check-in periodically.
If you are the host, provide non-alcoholic beverages and do not tolerate drugs on your property. Keep alcohol in a locked cabinet.
Party crashers should be turned away; host invited guests only. The greater the number of guests at your residence, the harder it will be to maintain a controlled environment.
If an invited guest arrives intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, be prepared to call the person's parents at a minimum and be prepared to call the police before situations potentially escalate.
Surveys time and time again have shown that parents are one of the most influential factors in our kid's decision making process. Not wanting to disappoint their parents is a huge motivating factor for kids to make good decisions.
As parents, we should use that to our advantage and know that is our role. Set boundaries with your kids and openly discuss your expectations. We do it to keep them safe and out of love … worrying about being the cool parent can really open up your child to unsafe circumstances.
In addition to providing education tools, local law enforcement will be working several extra patrol shifts to specifically address under-age drinking and other unsafe behavior during the graduation period.
This is part of a countywide ABC grant to combat under age alcohol consumption and is designed not only as an enforcement tool, but as a preventative measure.
As a part of this campaign, Truckee PD has put together an anonymous tip line, which can be used for this or any other anonymous crime reporting. Using the Nixle program, citizens can submit TIPs on any issues of concern.
This can be done via an email web link on the Truckee Police Department's website at townoftruckee.com/departments/police, or through a text back feature in Nixle to 855-847-7247.
If you have questions or concerns that you would like to share with our department, the Truckee PD also has a School Resource Officer who can be reached during most normal business hours. Officer Noel Borden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, if there is an in-progress emergency situation, please use 911 for immediate assistance.
This column was submitted buy Truckee Police Department Capt. Rob Leftwich and other department members.