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Sheriff's Dept. offers 'Parents' Guide to Teenage Parties and Dances'

A Spring Break reminder

Posted: April 3, 2009 3:26 p.m.
Updated: April 3, 2009 12:27 p.m.
Two years ago the city of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station launched an informational campaign to provide resources to parents, which will assist in planning, controlling and surviving a teen party.

As part of this awareness campaign, the city and Sheriff's Station jointly produced a "Parent Guide to Teenage Parties and Dances" brochure that assists parents in planning and organizing the event when it is hosted at their home. The information also provides tips when the party is held elsewhere, and what to consider with your teenager.

As we enter into the spring break season and many of our youth in the Santa Clarita Valley have a break from school and other responsibilities, Captain Anthony La Berge would like to reiterate how important it is that our youth relax and celebrate responsibly and our parents stay closely involved with their teenager's activities.

"Every year, deputies respond to parties in which teenagers are unsupervised and participating in unsafe or criminal behavior," La Berge explains. "Although these parties are not the norm, the potential for an unsupervised party to rise to this level is greater than a well-planned, supervised event with reasonable expectations."

The results of unsupervised teen parties can be tragic, as alcohol and drug use has led to death and injuries. Other times, complaints of loud, unreasonable noise is reported by neighbors. More recently, we have seen an increase in sexual assaults and rapes directly connected to these types of gatherings.

In 2008, Santa Clarita sheriff's deputies responded to 3,468 calls for service involving either large parties or loud music complaints. Some of these incidents involved parties in which teenagers were found to be unsupervised and participating in unsafe or criminal behavior.

The guide also reminds parents of the possible liabilities they face by hosting a party or having a party at their residence in which illegal activities occur.

California law holds parents liable, both civilly and criminally, in the event of any injury or death when alcohol is either furnished or allowed to be consumed by a minor at a party.

The Sheriff's Department has always taken policing neighborhood parties and disturbances seriously. It is the policy of the Sheriff's Department to maintain the peace and security of our neighborhoods, by responding to and abating neighborhood disturbances, including loud parties, unreasonably loud music and other noise-related incidents that disturb the quality of life of our community.

In these situations, deputies must balance the rights of party participants to have a social gathering against the right of the neighbors to be free from unreasonable noise and disturbance.

To effectively respond to the increasing numbers of calls for service involving large parties, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station utilizes an additional patrol unit with two deputies on Friday and Saturday nights to respond and handle these disturbance complaints.


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