Opp Chief: Teach kids accountability

Published 12:22 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald offered some words of warning and encouragement to parents, teenagers and young adults this week.

“As you and I know, our country is having its problems,” he said. “We see young adults participating in Antifa and Neo-Nazi groups proclaiming causes that they know very little or nothing about. Young people physically hurting other people and destroying private property for the sake of violence.”

McDonald said he would like to offer a few examples.

“Friday week ago, late at night, an Opp Police officer and a Drug Task Force agent were sitting on U.S. Hwy. 84, when a man pulled up and told them that a suspicious vehicle was setting on Grider Road,” he said. “The man was concerned that they were breaking into his neighbor’s home. The Covington County Sheriff’s Department was notified and the OPD officer and DTF agent went to Grider Road, where they met and stopped three vehicle that were leaving the area.”

McDonald said it turned out there was a field party and juveniles were consuming alcohol.

“ A 17-year-old male individual told the DTF agent, “If I would have been driving a truck, I would have rammed your truck.”

McDonald said the teen went on to say, “You will have to put two in my chest to stop me.”

“A juvenile female was placed under arrest for minor consuming alcohol told officers, ‘I know people,’” McDonald said. “Now, the young man may have been talking trash. I hope that he was. Ramming police vehicles when law enforcement officers are in them can be a very bad thing with serious consequences. And young man, upon reflection and serious thought, would you really run the risk of being shot in the chest? At best, his comment was stupid and was made as result of his being angry that he had been caught and was now under arrest for minor consuming alcohol.”

McDonald said the young lady’s comment about knowing people is not something that any seasoned law enforcement official hasn’t heard.

“Parents, we do our children a disservice when we fail to teach them accountability, responsibility and respect,” he said. “When we watch the news on television, we see the results of this failure daily.”

McDonald pledged to keep children safe when they were away from home.

“We will help you keep your children safe when they are away from your home and not under your immediate control,” he said. “We can’t be everywhere, but we will intervene in unlawful or dangerous behavior as we detect it.”

McDonald encouraged parents to explain to teens and young adults, “that it is a cold, hard world out there. Both good and bad things can happen. The teens and adults of today will either make it or not. Those that we are watching on the news have or are about to destroy their futures. Young man, taking two in the chest will ruin your day every time, not matter how you cut it. God gave you a brain. Use it.”