[ back ]
Police target truancy
In response to issues and concerns brought to the Columbus Division of Police by local residents, new initiatives are being planned and will be launched to battle the ongoing problem of student truancy.
A rundown of upcoming implementations was announced by Sgt. Joe Horton during the Sep. 7 meeting of the Greater Hilltop Area Commission.
“Kids are back in school. Today alone we had six truancies,” Horton says.
According to Horton, a proposal was made last year by Don Heard, who coordinates the truancy program at the Y, in which Heard suggested installing a truancy center into the Hilltop.
While Horton initially opposed the idea, not thinking the area had a truancy problem, he has changed his mind over the past seven to eight months.
“I’ve had a change of mind in that regard and fully support having a truancy center established out here,” Horton says. “Mr. Heard is a dedicated individual in terms of helping these kids and getting them some of the attention that they need.”
The Columbus Division of Police has now made truancy positions into permanent positions within the patrol bureau.
The hope is that the new truancy positions will help keep children in school and off the street so that not only can they receive an education, but this will keep them off the streets during school hours and out of trouble.
“They will be out here dedicated to truancy and that is it,” said Horton. “In the summer they’re going to use them in a curfew initiative as well,” Horton says.
The department is also beginning to develop community response teams, which will fall under the patrol bureau.
According to Horton, over 120 officers have applied for these positions on the new community response teams. There are a total of three teams that will consist of ten officers and a sergeant on each team. Also, the three zones which the teams will cover consist of the north east, south east, and west sides.
“That’s to bolster our patrol team… there are going to be uniformed patrol in addition to the other resources they have on second shift. They are going to be having an additional 10 officers and a sergeant work primarily from 2 p.m. to midnight.”
[ back ]