Another Saturday night and the parade of cars heading up Wood Hill is visible from my house. I see them when the weather begins to warm up until the weather cools back down. During the school year it happens on Friday and Saturday nights. During the summer any night is fair game.
So what do you suppose the cars are heading up there for? Since I walk up there a lot during the day and I constantly run across new fire pits and beer bottles and cans, I can hazard a good guess.
I know this is not the only location our teens go to have their parties. However it has been used for decades. I didn't grow up around here so I was unaware of the drinking spots as my kids went through their teenage years.
If I had I might have been on this crusade long before this. As it is, I wonder why such a well-known spot for drinking sees so little enforcement from the cops. I will speculate that we have several current officers that may have spent some nights up there drinking themselves when they were teens.
Now I don't know this for a fact so I am not trying to put any one on the spot. But we do have a problem in the hills surrounding our community. I know we cannot have our law enforcement trying to cover the hundreds of miles of roads surrounding out community, but there are some areas that would be easy enough to watch.
The road to Wood Hill, off 900 North is visible from many spots in the community. It is fairly easy to spot the cars heading up. From the size of the fire rings left behind, it would seem like it shouldn't be too hard to spot the bonfires from a distance either.
Our local law enforcement has been pretty diligent in trying to curb the illegal drug use and underage drinking in our community. But this spring and summer I would like to see a real blitz to hit the areas that the kids are sneaking off to.
I don't have kids right now that are at risk of being up at those parties. I would feel the same if I did. We don't need to lose anyone to drinking and driving accidents.
I also know that as the enforcement cracks down on one spot, those determined to party will move to another spot. But for some kids, a concerted law enforcement effort may be the little thing that helps them decide not to find a party. Many kids are ambivalent about getting involves with drinking and if the danger of getting caught seems high enough, they will not risk it.
I know it will be a matter of choosing priorities considering the limited resources available to have our deputies do much patrolling on the back roads. There is a trade off to having them readily available for more urban calls or out searching for illegal parties. I would not want someone to go without assistance when it is needed, but I feel this is a priority as well.
I want to say thanks to each and every law enforcement officer that serves our community. We have a very safe community because you all do a great job.