Patriot H.S. Public Safety Meeting Emphasizes Drug Awareness, Crime Prevention

| April 29, 2015 | 0 Comments | News
PWCPD Chief Hudson and Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson take questions at the Public Safety Meeting. Photo by Patrick Szabo

PWCPD Chief Hudson and Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson take questions at the Public Safety Meeting. Photo by Patrick Szabo

Dozens of Prince William County residents occupied the seats of Patriot High School’s auditorium Tuesday night for the Brentsville District Public Safety Town Hall Meeting.

Brentsville District Supervisor Supervisor Jeanine Lawson and School Board Representative Gil Trenum, both from the Brentsville District, held the meeting at the Nokesville high school to educate residents on youth drug use and crime prevention in the community.

According to Lawson, the meeting was organized as a response to the February narcotics arrest of six PHS students.

“We thought this was a good event to inform parents,” she said. “The more people know, always the better.”

In a larger turnout than expected, the forum was arranged as a town hall meeting and included speakers followed by a question and answer session.

Among the speakers were Prince William County Police Department First Sergeant Ruben Castilla and PHS Director of Security John Lavely.

As the majority of attendees were parents, it was Lavely’s presentation on drug trends and technology use that most interested residents.

During his talk, Lavely highlighted the gravity of illegal drug use by PWC’s youth.

“It’s not a school drug problem, it’s a community drug problem,” he said. “The more we bring it to attention, the more parents are being involved.”

Lavely spoke about a new drug called ‘wax,’ which is a more pure form of the chemical found in marijuana—tetrahydrocannabinol.

Because the drug is in a waxlike state, it needs to be heated much more than regular marijuana to be smoked. According to Lavely, this presents multiple problems. Not only are kids getting high on it, but they are also creating potential fire hazards when using it.

“One thing about marijuana that parents need to understand is that it’s not your parents’ marijuana,” he said. “It’s very strong and it’s producing bad effects for a lot of kids.”

His talk also led to the topic of how modern technology makes the purchasing of drugs for PWC’s youth much easier. He assured parents that their childrens’ phones were goldmines of information.

“Kids don’t delete stuff,” he said. “They keep everything.”

Castilla’s presentation on crime prevention was less controversial and included topics on home security, auto larceny and what to do during and after a burglary.

According to Castilla, auto larceny is currently the most problematic crime in PWC.

“I think they’re crimes of opportunity,” he said. “It’s going to spike up now that the weather’s getting nice.”

Castilla’s presentation was intended to educate attendees on how to prevent crime from occurring in the first place. He emphasized the TLC method—an acronym devised to illustrate auto larceny prevention. It stands for ‘Take out valuables, Lock vehicle, and Close doors and windows.’

“Most larcenies are things that happen to us because we leave our things open,” he said.

According to PWCPD Chief of Police Steve Hudson, PWC’s nonviolent crime rate is on the decline.

© 2015, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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