HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
OFFICER JOHN BRISKI
OFFICER SHAWN TINGLE
Because of growing concerns from the community and school officials, police officers in the Puna district embarked on a campaign to reduce truancy.
At the beginning of May 2007, officers began patrolling areas such as Shipman Park, agricultural fields by Keaau High School and other popular youth hangouts.
Police made 33 arrests for truancy for the month of May. Three of those were youths who were arrested three times.
Since the school year began, police have made 85 arrests for truancy in Puna.
The arrested youths are turned over to their parents or guardians, or to the school. In some cases they may be turned over to Child Protective Services.
The truancy cases are referred to Family Court for review and final disposition.
In one instance, two truant juveniles were driving their vehicles recklessly. Upon being stopped by police officers, it was determined that one of them was unlicensed and that his parent was aware of that. In addition to citing the the juvenile for not having a driver’s license, police cited the parent for allowing an unlicensed person to operate a vehicle.
Police plan to continue their truancy enforcement efforts when the new school year begins.
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