TERRE HAUTE, Ind (WTHI) - The frequent number of teen walk-offs from the Gibault campus in Terre Haute prompted a community meeting Thursday.
Vigo Co. School Officials, Vigo Co. Sheriff Greg Ewing and local community members met to come to a consensual agreement of how to properly address the problem of walk-offs from the Gibault campus, and to inform the community of the restrictions and regulations Gibault employees must follow.
One of the major concerns brought up was the response time in which police are called.
Initially, Sheriff Ewing met with Gibault officials Wednesday after another teen walked away and trespassed into a surrounding neighborhood. The private meeting was to discuss better legal procedures that could be executed to help with the problem.
Sheriff Ewing state that calling police the minute the teen attempts to escape, police might be able to prevent it.
"We can deal with [escaped teens] differently by being law enforcement. If we order them to stop and they don't, then they are resisting and fleeing law enforcement," said Sheriff Ewing.
Gibault officials are hopeful that working more closely with police will help prevent walk-offs in the future; however, Gibault staff members feel they also need to explain their restriction to the community, so the public can better understand Gibault employee's restrictions .
"We would like to talk to the homeowners association and explain what our license rules and regulations consist of and ask for suggestions and hopefully conclude with solutions that might prevent further incidents from occurring in the community, as well as improve our community relations." said Executive Director of Gibault Michele Madley
Director Madley said the next step is to execute some of the ideas from Sheriff Ewing and those created from the community.
After the meeting, Kaleel Ellis stated that he felt Gibault officials were not taking enough of the responsibility for the walk-offs.
Sheriff Ewing plans to have his deputies drive through the Gibault Campus more frequently to establish an authoritative presence. He also said he's considering implementing a Code Red: a phone system that notifies surround communities.
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