SPPD & Citizens Patrol truancy sweep nets 14 high school students

January 26, 2000
Santa Paula News
Fourteen high school students were surprised when they were off campus on Wednesday, January 19 and got a free ride back to school from the Santa Paula Police Department. The truancy sweep occurred between 9 and 10:30 a.m., said Sgt. Gary Marshall, and SPPD officers were assisted by members of the Citizens Patrol in the effort.During the approximately 90-minute action, SPPD personnel as well as members of the Citizens Patrol cruised city streets near Santa Paula Union High School, located on North 6th Street, looking for students that should be on campus.All 14 detained were high school age and none were students of Isbell Middle School, said Sgt. Marshall.The latest truancy sweep was initiated by SPUHS Superintendent Dr. Bill Brand, who “said it’s about time. . .we do them periodically to keep the kids on their toes,” Sgt. Marshall noted. “If we had done it during the entire school day we could have picked up up to 30 kids probably, those that left the campus during lunch and didn’t come back, that kind of thing.”Word spreads fast when students are picked up for being off campus, which acts as a deterrent to other students who might be tempted to cut classes themselves.One student netted in Wednesday’s truancy sweep was supposed to be registered at the district’s Renaissance High School, but had not shown up yet at the school, located west of the main SPUHS campus. “Now, I’m sure he’s registered,” said Sgt. Marshall with a laugh.Another student told police officers he would not be able to graduate if reported for being off-campus during class time.
The members of Citizens Patrol acted as “spotters” during the sweep: “If they saw any school age kids they’d call them in,” to police officers who responded to the area.“Then we stopped the kid and ask if there is any legitimate reason for them being off campus; if not, we took them back to school where they were put in in-school detention,” noted Sgt. Marshall.In-school detention was created so that being suspended would not be viewed as a day off.In all the truancy sweep was considered a success, and “we’ll be doing it again,” said Sgt. Marshall.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.