Greenwich Police shared a statement about juvenile issues happening in town. The department said they work very closely with the Board of Education and school administrators to ensure staff and students feel safe.
The statement comes at the heels of an email to to the GHS community on Wednesday from Greenwich Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones to families that said multiple fights had been initiated at GHS and in town by a small group of students, not a large “gang” as some have reported on social media.
She said whole police take these matters seriously and will not hesitate to file criminal charges against students when appropriate, Greenwich Schools also does not hesitate to initiate the expulsion hearing process to remind students there are drastic and long-lasting consequences for their inappropriate and hurtful actions.
“There have been at least two atrocious and violent videos being circulated on social media which are more akin to an assault than a school fight,” Jones added. “We will not tolerate violent behavior, or recording and sharing of this behavior, in our schools.”
The police statement, released on Saturday, said, “We are aware of fights occurring at and outside of school and make every effort to intervene before these incidents occur.”
Extra patrols have been scheduled after school hours in areas where juveniles have been known to gather, SROs have been able to identify potential issues between students, and the community impact section is proactive at monitoring social media for large gatherings.
When issues have been identified, police officers do their best to mitigate the situation and work alongside school administrators and parents to determine the best corrective course to ensure this behavior does not impact the community.
While Greenwich Police are committed to enforcing state laws and providing a safe environment for all citizens, they urge parents to talk to their children about the behaviors they expect them to model and display when they are out of the house, and discuss the potential consequences of fighting or creating disorderly situations in school or in public.
In her note to Greenwich Schools families on Friday, superintendent Jones relayed a message from police chief Heavey, “He tells us there has been a trend this fall of an increase in vandalism and disorderly conduct on the Avenue and in Greenwich Common Park. He appreciates our town’s youth moving away from their screens, but the GPD has noticed that when a part of a crowd of eight or so, even well-behaved teenagers may lose awareness of how their presence disrupts others’ enjoyment of the Avenue. Large crowds tend to get rowdy and unruly, and a mob mentality can set in.”
Again, parents are urged to do their part and advise their children to be on their best behavior and to stay away from troublemakers when they do visit the Avenue. Remind them Greenwich Common Park closes at sunset.