FPD officers to visit Ferriday schools regularlyPublished 12:05am Saturday, July 28, 2012
FERRIDAY — As children, parents and teachers prepare to head back to school Aug. 10, the Ferriday Police Department is also sharpening its pencils and ready to hit the books right alongside the students.
Police Chief Richard Madison is implementing a new program called, “My school, my beat,” in which officers and other police department employees each help monitor activity at one of the five schools in Ferriday.
“We want to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to being involved in our schools and protecting the lives of the students,” Madison said. “We’ll be there every day interacting with the students, teachers and everyone in between.”
Madison said each police department employee, including himself, will have a designated school that they will visit periodically from the first period bell until all the locker doors have slammed.
“If we build up that relationship with students and show a presence in their daily lives, then hopefully we can quell issues before they even happen,” Madison said. “Having the same officer at each school will help the students feel comfortable if they have any problems.”
Along with back-to-school safety, Madison said the police department will also be cracking down on the curfew for teenagers.
On weekdays, teenagers under the age of 17 can’t be without parental supervision after 10 p.m.
Madison said the curfew might be extended by an hour on Friday nights when the Ferriday Trojans take the field, but any other time there are no exceptions.
“We need help from parents to enforce the curfew, too,” Madison said. “They need to make sure they know where their children are after 10 o’clock.”
Parents that drive or pick up their children from school also need to make sure they obey seat belt and child restraint laws, Madison said.
“Our focus with seat belt violations is that it’s saving lives,” Madison said. “We’re here to protect and serve the people of Ferriday, and there are 40,000 people traveling through here a day, so we need to make sure we’re enforcing the laws.”
And while a seat belt citation can cost a driver $25, Madison said he hopes drivers will just learn to buckle up before getting behind the wheel — especially when they’re carrying precious cargo.
“It should be second nature to a driver to buckle up or make sure their kids are in a child restraint seat properly,” Madison said. “All these measures are for one thing — saving lives.”