In the late 1980s and early 1990s crime rates rose dramatically throughout the United States. Particularly frightening was the increase in violent juvenile crime. This increase far outpaced the rises in adult crime during the same period. Violent crimes committed by juveniles rose to levels that would have been unimaginable just a few years earlier.
The Longview Police Department has responded to these disturbing trends by assigning several officers to positions that focus on preventing or curbing juvenile crime. Our efforts began by assigning an officer to work full time teaching DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in our schools. Later, a second officer was assigned to teach DARE on a part-time basis.
For the 1995-96 school year, an officer was assigned to work full time in the schools. Most of his focus was on the two local high schools and two middle schools. For the 1996-97 school year, due to the amount of calls for service and additional funding, a second full-time officer was assigned to the schools.
One school resource officer is assigned to Mark Morris High School, Cascade Middle School, and the Structured Learning Center. The second officer serves Monticello Middle School and RA Long High School beginning with the 2004-2005 school year. This allows the officers to develop relationships with the school students and staff.
LPD is making a commitment to greatly increase our efforts in the schools in hopes of preventing school disorder and crime before they occur.