Delco cops puts parents and teens on notice over bad behavior

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Police in Springfield Township, Delaware County, are putting middle schoolers and their parents on notice. Stop the nonsense.

No more playing chicken in traffic, no more midnight ring and runs, no more throwing stones at the trolley. Stop swearing at Wawa customers, tipping over trash cans and blocking streets.

“Enough is enough,” said Police Chief Joe Daly.

In past years, as soon as the weather warms up, children ages 12 to 15 take to the streets in large groups and cause trouble. It drops off in July and August when families are on vacation, he said.

This year, police are making a preemptive strike. They have made robo calls to residents, contacted the school district, and put out Tweets and Facebook notices. The have the consulted with the Board of Commissioners, added extra patrols and are reaching out to local district judges.

They are not going to tolerate violence,  underage drinking, drug use, vandalism, littering, bullying, harassment, assaults, strong armed robbery and whatever else needs to be addressed.

The teens are sometimes brought together by social media to check out a fight. Or, they are just dropped off by parents, Daly said. 

Don’t get him wrong, Daly said. Most of the township kids are good. It is the 10 percent who are out of control and impacting the quality of life for residents who are tired of the harassment and concerned about the dangerous behaviors. 

“We are coming to look for them and there are no free passes,” he said about the troublemakers.

It is not like there isn’t anything available for kids, Daly said. Springfield offers bowling alleys, movie theaters, skating rinks, pools, ownship sports clubs, and other activities, he added. 

Even so, Daly doesn’t feel the township should be responsible for entertaining the kids. 

“It is not our responsibility,” said Daly. And besides, the kids that are causing the trouble, are not the ones taking advantage of the township activities, he said.

The youthful offenders can expect to get cited and fined, he said. Depending on the violation it can be about $300 plus costs. 

“If they are obstructing traffic, that is a $1,000 fine,” said Daly. He is most concerned about the cyclists who play games of chicken in traffic. “We are one incident away from a kid getting killed.”

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