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Advice on dealing with juveniles


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  • Advice on dealing with juveniles

    Hello Everyone,

    My new department (Verona Borough PA) is experiencing a juvenile problem. Demographics are blue collar working folks with median income in the mid 30's. The kids roam the town in packs! We shadow them and that seems to work. I have two kids of my own (Son 15, Daughter 12) and even they are tough-very tough to talk with.

    I would appreciate any resource info, I really want to do good with this department.

    Be Careful!


  • #2
    Well, that really all depends on the kinds of problems these "packs" of kids are causing and what the root causes are.

    Are you having a vandalism/property damage problem? Something more serious...perhaps even boardering on a gang issue? Or maybe it's more of a small-town issue with the "older folks" being intimidated by large groups of juveniles who aren't really violating the law but just kids being kids?

    The root of the problem should dictate the type of response. Criminal matters might necessitate a strong, no nonsense criminal enforcement response. "Image" issues where there's no real criminal violation might necessitate something more subtle...look into the recreational opportunities available to the kids in the area, for example.

    And, many times, "shadowing" kids (especially if the problems aren't criminal in nature) will only make the problems worse. Combine authority-resistant, bored teens and an officer who's trying to "shadow" them, and you've just made a new game to pass the time for these kids.
    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
    -Friedrich Nietzsche


    • #3
      Right , I guess it all depends on what the "packs "are doing. I it's crimes well start the juvenile records. If it's not criminal (yet) then try to get ahead of the "pack" and breaking up their group or gathering if city codes(loitering, curfews, etc.) will allow. GOOD LUCK.
      "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

      "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep


      • #4

        Very good. I should have stated the issue clearly; although I've been there 4 days now, I believe the kids tend to be more disorderly than criminal. I am not aware of any grafitti or vandalism, nor have I viewed any.

        Our curfew is 10 pm, Chief has instructed us to issue 1 verbal warning, then cite. While there are those kids who enjoy organized sports, these are the fringe group who choose not to participate.

        There is a older senior component to this where I suspect they complain because they can and the kids are merely in the area. Well noted on the shadowing, I can see where that would escalate the issue.

        Thank you very much for your help.



        • #5
          I am not a Sworn police officer, but I am a sworn Juvenile Officer with arrest powers. I just wonder what type of Juvenile system your county has inplace... Do you guys have problems getting kids placed in detention.. In my area, we have moved to the JDAI system... this means a kid has to commit a class a or b felony to be placed in Detention... Not such a good thing
          Hired !!!!!


          • #6
            Unless Verona is a huge department, I'd not post where you work. One "bad" comment, and someone will use it against you.
            What Delta said x2


            • #7

              Yeah, my luck and I'm screwed...never was my intent to insinuate they were "bad". I believed as professionals I could solicit feedback...am proud of where I work and what I do.

              Guess I'll make reasonable attempts to have the moderator remove this thread.

              Many thanks,



              • #8
                Well Since your going to remove this thread I am an idiot for posting on it, but then I have done stupid things before so here goes.

                In dealing with juvies (which i did as a n SRO for 3 years) understand that their brains are wired to be skeptical about their environment. this is the warrior age where the go out and explore new territory. They will not have the kind of respect for you that a uniformed officer expects them to have. A hard line approach will make them rebel and shadowing them will make them think you are afraid of them. Stop watching them and get out and say hi. Get to know them. Talk with them not to them. Give them your name and ask the their opinion. Ask for there help with problems. Get a relationship with them where they will want to wave at you as you drive by. When you have to give them an order don’t do it in a excessively authorities way or you will come off like Barney Fife. Its the same old line we tell new officers don’t give an order like you want it obeyed, give an order like you expect it to be obeyed. Natural and calm, as if their not obeying it never occurred to you. They will fall for it every time. Usually if they are somewhere that’s problematic I would go up to them and say with kind of a cynical sneer, (like I am laughing with them at the calling party) "hey guys the old folks are creeping again, just move on over to the (Insert location) then turn away before they even get a chance to say "Yes or No."

                When getting confessions its always go to use a "You know tactic." An example would be something like "Timmy your a smart kids, you know there's all these windows with people looking at you all the time. You know a whole bunch of folks saw what you did. So since you know all that why did you do it?"
                Last edited by Garbage Man; 05-04-2007, 04:24 PM.
                Originally posted by FJDave
                GM, you have just set the bar that much higher for the rest of us in our witty, sarcastic responses. I yield to you! Good job, kind Sir!

                District B13
                "We are not cops nor Feds." yet he still poses as an officer Hmmmm

                Grant us grace, fearlessly, to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression.--WWII memorial

                "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."

                Pope Gregory V II


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