TRUANCY TEAM READY FOR SCHOOL YEAR
With the start of school only a week away, Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne and School Superintendent Dr. Frank Till have a message for students: don’t skip school. The BSO Truancy Task Force will once again be patrolling the streets, searching for kids who should be in school, but aren’t. Numbers from last school year show more students were caught skipping school, but fewer were repeat truants. And, certain daytime crimes continued to drop.
“Dr. Till and I are serious about making sure children go to school every day,” Sheriff Jenne said. “When they’re in the classroom and off the street, they are less likely to get in trouble, less likely to break the law, and less likely to end up behind bars”
Ø In the 2001-2002 school year, 17,005 kids were picked-up for truancy in Broward County. That’s a slight increase over the 16,733 caught skipping school last year.
Ø There was a 21% drop in the number of repeat truants this school year over last. The 2001-2002 period saw just 1,133 while there were 1,445 in 2000-2001.
Ø Of the children caught out of class this school year in Broward, 702 were arrested on active juvenile pick-up orders and 99 were identified as gang members. Last school year, those numbers were 284 and 154 respectively.
Ø The team effort to reduce truancy has helped make a serious dent in weekday crimes commonly committed by juveniles. Since 1999, daytime crimes like burglary, auto theft, vandalism, and larceny are down more than 51% throughout BSO’s jurisdictions.
These promising figures are a direct result of TRIP, the Truancy Reduction & Intervention Program. The aggressive plan was launched in 1999 when BSO teamed up with the Broward County School Board, the Broward State Attorney’s Office, Broward County Commissioners, and local law enforcement.
This release by:
Hugh Graf / Media Relations