Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies and city of Santa Clarita staffers are teaming up to put on a pair of workshops at City Hall aimed at spreading information about teen issues for parents.
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“What you don’ t know: teens, drugs and consequences” is scheduled for April 16, and “Cellphones, sexting and social media” is the name of a second workshop April 23.
“The idea is to keep people aware of what’s going on in the community,” said Janine Prado, human services administrator for the city of Santa Clarita. “(The information) is relevant, it’s current and it’s about giving parents the tools they need to safeguard their children.”
The workshops are free and have different themes, but the overarching message is raising awareness for parents, according to Sheriff’s Station officials.
Detective Bill Velek of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Juvenile Intervention Team speaks with parents and at-risk teens regularly through his duties as a member of the J-Team.
“It’s about educating parents as to what to look for with their kids, and for what the current trends are in Santa Clarita and the rest of the country,” Velek said of his April 16 talk.
“It’s not just the same marijuana culture of the 1970s,” Velek said. “It’s about letting (parents) know what paraphernalia looks like, and what they should do. We just want to make sure parents know what’s going on today.”
The Juvenile Intervention Team focuses on drug-related offenses, working a three-pronged approach with prevention, intervention and enforcement, with Action Family Counseling, the city of Santa Clarita and the William S. Hart Union High School District, as well.
The second workshop, which will be April 23, will focus on the trouble teens and preteens can get into using social media, said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Crime Prevention Unit.
“Social media is a tremendous tool for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, which gives deputies an increased ability to interact with the community we serve,” Dubin said. “However, it’s important for parents to keep an eye on what their kids are doing online, as social media also allows kids opportunities to interact with people that mom and dad might not approve.”
There will be a presentation by Dubin, which will also be assisted by a detective with the Special Victims Bureau.
After the presentation, Dubin anticipates a question-and-answer session, in which parents will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns, he said.
In addition to being a patrol deputy with the station’s CPU, Dubin coordinates much of the Sheriff’s Station outreach with social media.
“We always want to encourage dialogue with our community,” Dubin said. “We feel that the more information parents have, the better equipped they’ll be to protect their children, and prevent them from engaging in illegal activity.”
Both workshops will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on their respective dates.
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