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Cracking Down: Lake Charles police aware of increased juvenile crime

Cracking Down: Lake Charles police aware of increased juvenile crime

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Published by: Ashley Danielle Dobson on Jul 30, 2012
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06/17/2013

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Publication: American Press;Date: Jun 3, 2012;Section: Front Page;Page: 1
CrackingdownLakeCharlespoliceawareofincreasedjuvenilecrime
ByAshleyWithersawithers@americanpress.com
TheLakeCharlesPoliceDepartmentreportedanincreaseinthenumberofjuvenile-relatedcrimesin2011atthedepartment’sannualcrimestatisticsnewsconferencelastThursday.Therewere252juvenilearrestsin2011—a17percentincreasefromthe215juvenilearrestsin2010.“Themostcommonjuvenilecrimesareanythingofopportunity.Juvenileswillcommitcrimesthesameasanadult,oftenburglary,theft,shoplifting,”OfficerScottDoughertysaid,“WehaveaproblemwithkidsstealingTVs,XBoxes.Theywilltakeadvantageofanysituationwheretheycanprofitorseesomethingtheywant.”DoughertypolicesthecentralsectionofLakeCharles,whichincludesBeat6—theareaborderedbyBroadStreet,12thStreet,andFirstAvenuetoKayoucheeCoulee.Beat6isamongtheareasidentifiedbytheLCPDasahigh-crimearea.FelixAverhoff,whohaslivedintheBeat6areaforthepastsixyears,saidhehadn’tnoticedanincreaseinjuvenilecrime,buthewasn’tsurprised.“Ibelievethereisalotofthefthere,”hesaid.ArearesidentMaryWilsonagrees.Shesaidherneighbor’sapartmentwasbrokenintojusttwoweeksagobysomeyoungkids.“It’sthekindofthingthoughwhereIusuallyhearalotaboutthecrime,butIdon’treallyseeit,”Wilsonsaid.Nowthatschoolisoutforthesummermonths,Doughertysaidcitypoliceareonalertforapotentialincreaseinjuvenilecrime.“Wealwaysprepareourselvesmentallyforincreasedjuvenilecrimeinthesummerorwheneverschoolletsout,”Doughertysaid.“Thereisalackofsupervisionatthattimeorevenforthosewithparentswhotry,alackofcontrol.Sometimesthesekidsfeelastrongerconnectiontooraremoreloyaltokidstheyrunwithintheirneighborhoodthantheirparents.”Manyofthecrimescommittedbyjuvenilesarespurredbylocalgangactivity.TheGetMoneyBoys,commonlyreferredtoastheGMB,andotherareagangsoftenattractmemberswhoareinmiddleschoolandsometimeseveninthefifthgrade.TheGMBisthedominantganginBeat6.“Unfortunately,lessthingsareshockingtokidsnow.Kidsareexposedatamuchearlieragetothingstheycan’tprocessor separatefromreality,”Doughertysaid,“Thismeansthatajuvenilecancommitthesametypesofcrimeasanadult.”Doughertysaiditishardertotargetjuvenilegangsbecauseyoungmemberswilloftendenytheiraffiliation.Hesaidolder memberswill“justtellyouwhotheyrunwith.”Aspartoftheirstrategytocutdownonjuvenilecrime,DoughertysaidtheLCPDwillcrackdownoncurfewlawviolators.Thismeansparentscanbeticketediftheirchildrenarecaughtoutaftercurfew.TheLakeCharlescurfewforpeopleundertheageof17whoarenotworkingorwithaparentorguardianis11p.m.-5a.m.MondaythroughThursdayandmidnight-5a.m.FridaythroughSunday.Doughertysaidarrestproceduresforjuvenilesdifferfromthoseofadults.Theyaresubjecttoadifferentsetofrulesanddetentionsystem.SinceJuly2011,juvenileshavebeensubjecttotheservicesoftheCalcasieuParishMulti-AgencyResourceCenterinadditiontotheJuvenileDetentionCenter.TheMARCprovidesassistancetoat-riskchildrenandtheirfamilies.DoughertysaidthatwhenhecatchesajuvenileoffenderhecallsMARC,andtheyadvisehimonthebestnextstepfortheoffender.HesaidthisprovidesanalternativetotheJDC,whichdoesnotacceptjuvenileswhohavecommittedmisdemeanors.“Youhavetoberealcarefulofhowyoudealwithjuveniles.Youdon’t

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