Now that Miami-Dade and Broward counties have completed their academic school years, police are urging parents to keep students busy and safe this summer.
Three teenagers were shot after a pool party in Pembroke Pines on Sunday night, a crime that follows a recurring pattern. Violent juvenile crimes, drug use and petty crimes are all more common during the summer, according to police.
“Free time is the worst thing a teenager or pre-teen can have,” Hialeah Police spokesman Carl Zogby said. “Historically, there’s always been an increase in juvenile crimes in the summer, peer pressure, too much unsupervised time, they get bored and they get into trouble.”
Zogby said parents should know exactly what their kids are doing during the summer because “even good kids can get into trouble.” While summer camp, internships and jobs can keep students out of trouble throughout the day, they still have free time at night.
“Know who they’re hanging out with,” Zogby said. “If they’re going to a friend’s house, know that friend.”
Police recommend that parents use phone apps or other resources to keep track of their teenagers’ whereabouts. Similarly, children younger than 10 shouldn’t be left home alone, police said. If a child is mature enough, he or she can be left alone for a limited number of hours but shouldn’t be alone at night.
“Have [a] direct line of communication with your kids,” Zogby said. “Don’t let your kids think that he or she can spend hours under the radar where they don’t have to report to you and you’re not checking where they are.”