Prom Crime Watch in Effect for Richland Co.

Local authorities are incorporating new tactics for prom season


By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- A signature dream in students' lives could become a real nightmare if prom night gets out of hand, say police. Richland County authorities are offering what they say is an early wake-up call for students and parents.

Like most people this time of year, law enforcement officials say they want everyone to enjoy prom and have a good time. But not, they say, at the risk of unnecessary injury or even death. Armed with a new way of tackling partying prom goers, Richland County authorities will be patrolling the streets and social media to stay a step ahead of they say could happen with drugs, drinking, driving and prom night.

"April, May and June have higher statistics for teen fatalities, wrecks 'cause it's prom season," said lt. Rafael Gonzalez, with the Department's Community Action (CAT) Team. "You gotta look at the consequences. Do you wanna be a parent having a funeral the next week for your child? It could happen. You've got to confront it as reality. That's what we're out to do."

Gonzalez says officers have undergone specialized training just for prom season this year. They'll be asking different questions on the street, tweeting and facebook-posting as much as students, and having eyes and ears where teens nor parents might expect.

"The reason we're doing this is the parents will be held liable. Parents having these prom parties won't be tolerated, and if we find people in violation, there will be arrests made."

Add a comment


Comment: 1000 Characters Left

ABC Columbia and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Most Popular

Current: 75°
Partly Cloudy
High: 92°
Low: 73°
Wind: 6 MPH
Pressure: 30.06
Humidity: 82 %

What's on WOLOTV Full Schedule