Archived News Release from 2008
For Immediate Release
Redwood City Police Focusing on Reducing Truancy, Keeping Kids in School
Redwood City, CA - August 21, 2008 - There may be a lot of reasons that a middle or high school student is not attending school, when they are supposed to be in class. There may be family issues, academic problems, fear of bullying or gang activity, involvement in drugs or other illegal activity, among others. No one would disagree that the more we can help kids attend and stay in school, the greater the benefit for that child and the entire community when the student succeeds, graduates, and becomes a responsible, productive adult in our community.
To help reduce truancy, beginning on August 21st and continuing for the remainder of the school year Redwood City Police officers will be making an extra effort to actively seek out truant students. To accomplish this, off-duty Redwood City police officers will be hired on an overtime basis to patrol specific areas of the City, concentrating on identifying and contacting truants. These officers will also work with school administrators and the on-school-site police officers to contact the truants’ parents, or go to the homes of truants, to try and determine the problem that might be keeping the student from attending school. Under most circumstances, the student is then returned to school.
There is currently an officer assigned full time to Sequoia High School, and three part-time officers assigned to work at Hoover and Kennedy middle schools, who will work in conjunction with the other officers focusing on truancy. An additional officer will work five hours a week on specific truancy issues, such as home visits to help determine the reasons for that child’s truancy. Part of this contact includes helping the parents to understand their responsibility for ensuring their child attends school, as well as providing them with information about available local programs that can offer family counseling, intervention, and other critical assistance.
By reducing truancy, the City is helping to keep kids from being drawn into gangs or other delinquent activity. This program is being implemented in partnership with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, the Atherton Police Department, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
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Detective Rick Meure
Redwood City Police Department