BSO Truancy Task Force resumes patrols
Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne and Broward 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 students 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, daytime crime 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”,During the 2001-2002 school year, 17,005 students were picked up for truancy in Broward County, reflecting a slight increase over the 16,733 caught skipping school the previous year. Just over 700 were arrested on active juvenile pick-up orders and 99 were identified as gang members.,Repeat truancy dropped by 21% during the 2001-2002 school year: 1,133 compared with 1,445 in 2000-2001.,The Truancy Task Force’s efforts have 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 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 to aggressively combat truancy and associated criminal activity by juveniles.