“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Friday, June 27, 2008

Parents who care

So first night back last week on the road, first call of the shift I get a set of juvenile shoplifters at one of the local stores...

For those not aware, juvenile arrests tend to be a major pain in the ass... extra paperwork, inconvenient court times, parents and others having to get involved, etc etc - all for charges that usually get dismissed, or treated much less seriously than an adults in an effort to "keep kids out of the system". And now I get to multiply that times four.

Another presumed fact of juveniles always seems to be the "not my kid" syndrome of the parents... their little baby would never do whatever it was, it's not their fault, and all that stuff - usually from the parents who see the kid about an hour a day over the television screen, and expect us to act as their surrogate up until the point of actually doing any real parenting of their child.

Finally, a great many of these juveniles have been in the system & played the game (at least the area I work) - they know it's only going to be a slap on the wrist, mom/dad won't care, so why should they give you any more than lip service and the barest cooperation?

Yes folks, just like anyone else, we cops get some preconceived notions about our calls and work...

Obviously I was thrilled with this call the whole drive there.

So I get there, do my little interviews with the kids & get their confessions. Right away there is one change, in that all of them are apologetic to the store and me, and very concerned about what is going to happen. So I explain the procedures for the night to them, and about how this will go to court & the judge gets to resolve things any number of ways. We also start the process of getting a hold of parents, and I explain that if I can't do that then they will end up in detention since I can't just release them on their own.

Well in an interesting change of pace these young men actually start asking about detention instead of mom & dad - it seems they are all very worried about the parental reactions and punishments and think they would be safer in custody... Going so far as to ask how big the rooms are and how bad it really is, and can't we just go that route?

So in between processing, paperwork and explaining it doesn't work that way the various parents show up. All of whom are very obviously pissed off. While I'm explaining what happened, how they were honest and cooperative and all of that - and waiting for the storm directed at me that I am sure is coming...

And here's the next surprise - they all go off, but very much directed at the kids and not at us - discussing punishment options among themselves, that the kids do know better and will learn the consequences and running on from there.

A few minutes later I walk four VERY dejected looking young men out to their parents... which appeared to be the longest walk of their lives. Before they make it ten feet from me the very vocal scolding has started - one informed a summer trip to Europe is out, another is grounded til about the 43rd of never, and it goes downhill as they get in their cars and drive away. And something tells me there were some sore butts that night.

Let me tell you, it's nice to know there are still parents who care about their kids knowing right from wrong, and who hold them accountable. That's one time I'm definitely glad my cynicism was blown out of the water.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, well let's hope that parents actually STICK to the consequences. A lot of parents in the heat of the moment will dish out a consequence, just to find out later it's more convenient for themselves, to let the kid(s)off. At least your night was the better for it :o)

Officer Wright said...

Just about every parent I see, I say to myself "Now I know why there kid is like that."

Its refreshing to know of good parents out there.