Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. With the end of a school year rapidly approaching, everyone is looking to relax, and have a little fun. It is also a good time to be reminded of staying safe and drug free, and following the laws in effect throughout our community.
The C-summons parental notification system, a program in effect in Throggs Neck since 2001, has helped to inform and educate the youth and parents of our community. It is a vital program that promotes parental involvement, child accountability, and a safer community for all residents.
A C-summons is given when teens, 16-year-old to 18-years-old, are stopped by police for acts of disorderly conduct that may include, trespassing, truancy, possession of marijuana, public use of alcohol, or other criminal acts.
On the summons, there is a date, informing the child of when he or she must appear in court. Most times, however, youth place the summons in their pockets and forget about them, thinking there are no serious consequences.
This may lead to problems later on, as a warrant can be issued for an arrest if he or she fails to appear before the judge. This outstanding warrant can also pop up in background checks that are run for college loans, car loans, or even by prospective employers, which can lead to embarrassing moments, or even lost opportunities.
Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership partners with the 45th Precinct to help both parents and youth avoid this pitfall. The C-summons program allows officers to notify the parents that their child has been issued a summons and will appear in court.
The notification letter alerts the parent so their child appears in court on the indicated date. It also gives a parent a chance to see that their child may have a problem. Many parents have called TNCAP to thank them for presenting a “teachable moment”, an opportunity to start a conversation with their child about issues that may be affecting them, and the consequences of their negative behavior.
The program does not end there, however. TNCAP also holds a voluntary meeting for those teens who have received a C-summons. During this youth only group, TNCAP counselors discuss topics related to the C-summons offense, such as, risky behaviors, school involvement, and drug and alcohol usage. The court process is also reviewed, so that the youth know what to expect when their court date arrives.
Teens are shown alternative, healthy behaviors, which are designed to reduce the risk of receiving future C-summons. Teens learn that their behaviors carry consequences, and certain behaviors will contribute to ongoing problems with the law.
Everyone can do their part to make this a happy and safe summer for all Throggs Neck residents.
For more information, call Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership at (718) 904-1333.