It should come as no surprise to anyone that there has been an uptick in illicit activity amongst our student population. These activities have involved students as young as the early middle school years. It is part of a national trend which is clearly present here in Glen Rock. These activities take place in school, in public, on-line, and in private homes. While school officials and the police are actively engaged in monitoring activity taking place in our schools and in public, monitoring on-line activity and what may occur inside private homes rests with parents and guardians.
FACT: To investigate what is occurring on-line and in private homes, the police most often need to obtain subpoenas and warrants. In most cases a crime must take place before the police can act, which means it is already too late. Constitutional constraints and the rules of due process place strict limits on the police response. Constitutional protections apply to both adults and juveniles.
FACT: School officials may only respond to illicit activity occurring outside of the school when that activity negatively impacts the smooth operations of the school and/or disrupts the learning environment for students.
FACT: Parents and guardians have no such limits on their authority!
We ask that you not just share this information with the young adults in your life, but that you use it to engage in an on-going, meaningful dialogue with them. Remember the old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The possession of any illegal substances other than marijuana is a 3rd degree crime, one that carries more serious consequences and a criminal record. Beyond probation and fines, the penalties would include a mandatory DEDR penalty (Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction) fee of $500.00 and court costs. The penalties apply regardless of whether your child is found in a vehicle, the woods, a house, or a park. In addition, such offenses can result in the suspension of a driver’s license for up to two years. Those found guilty who have attained the age of 18 will have this conviction stay with them through adulthood.
Possession of marijuana is a Disorderly Persons offense which still carries a record for possession of an unlawful substance. Even in those states which have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, such use by underage individuals is still prohibited.
Marijuana is now commonly smoked using battery powered e-cigarettes. E-Cigs can be doctored for use with cannabis products that produce an odorless vapor. Tobacco oil can be replaced with cannabis oils in e-cigarettes and smoked without fear of detection. This has occurred in our schools and may very well have occurred in your home.
Parents and students alike should be aware that heroin abuse has become common place throughout our region in epidemic proportions. It is a national epidemic. Glen Rock is not immune to this problem; addiction knows no limits. It is as much of a problem here as anywhere else. LSD [lysergic acid diethylamide], widely associated with the counterculture of the 1960’s, has also made a recent resurgence.
If a police officer stops a motor vehicle where narcotics are found the officer may lawfully place all the occupants of the vehicle under arrest for possession of a controlled dangerous substance(s). The narcotics would be placed into evidence and the vehicle could be impounded. All the occupants would be transported to the police station and issued a complaint summons (if age 18 or older) or a Juvenile Delinquency Complaint (minor under 18 years) under
the N.J. Criminal Code for possession of a controlled dangerous substance. For prevention and treatment of substance abuse visit www.bergenhealth.org. Alcohol:
The drinking age in the United States is 21. No ‘if’s – No ‘and’s – No ‘but’s. Possession and consumption of alcohol by underage persons is against the law. Included with this letter is a GRPD fact sheet titled “Underage Drinking and the Law”. Parents and guardians should review this with their young adults and set clear ground rules and consequences.
….and yes, where possible, the Glen Rock Police Department will aggressively pursue charges against individuals who make alcohol available to underage persons.
Underage House Parties:
As a parent the law permits you to serve alcohol only to your child on your own property. If any other minor is being served, you can be arrested. In addition, you can then be sued in civil court for substantial monetary damages by the parents of the minors to whom you or your child provided alcohol. This can occur whether or not you are supervising the party being held on your property. Many unsupervised or poorly supervised parties have resulted in alcohol and substance abuse, extensive property damage, theft and sexual assaults.
If you decide to go away and leave your teen home alone, you are responsible for their actions and the actions of those who show up at your home, even if uninvited. We strongly suggest that an adult family member, friend or neighbor agree to keep track of what your teen is doing in your absence. The school and police cannot do it for you. If the point comes that the police become involved it is already too late. If you learn that your teen is at a potentially unsupervised house party, GO TO THE HOUSE AND GET THEM! You do not need a warrant.
It has come to our attention that some students have engaged in sexting as part of social interactions-using smartphones, email and social media to send naked or semi-naked pictures as well as real or simulated sexual acts. Often, teens are participating in the sharing of provocative images of themselves and others without realizing the potential consequences. These actions have legal and psychosocial implications that can follow them through the rest of their lives. If you have not checked the content of your teen’s smartphone, social media or other electronic devices recently, now is the time.
Help your child to have the courage to say “NO!”and make decisions which will lead to a productive and self-respecting life of success.
Thank you very much for your anticipated cooperation in this important matter.
Bruce Packer, Mayor
William Huisking, Councilman – Public Safety
Dean Ackermann, Chief of Police
Cheryl Sara, Michelle Torpey Byrd School HSA
Bryon Torsiello, President – Glen Rock Board of Education
Art Pazan, Councilman – Public Safety
Leslie Kossar Schraer, President GR Federated HSA
Dr. Paula Valenti, Superintendent of Schools
Kristine Morieko, Councilwoman – Public Safety
Sandi Stern, Middle/High Schools HSA
Stephanie Carosella, Hamilton School HSA
Allison Cassin, Sinead Rundell, Central School HSA
Allisan Emes, Laurie Mastellone, Coleman School HSA