Major Rick Carpenter, Troop B Commander, participates in
discussions with Columbia County Commissioner Elizabeth Porter
at a local Town Hall meeting focusing on teens.
The Safe and Drug Free Schools (SDFS) Advisory Council and Project C.A.T.C.H. (Columbia Acting Together for Children) began a series of Town Hall meetings in early 2006 to give Columbia High School students a forum to share their concerns with community leaders. Major Rick Carpenter, Troop B Commander, and Captain Tim Culhane, both members of SDFS, continue to be active participants in these meetings. The first meeting was so successful that two additional Town Hall meetings have been held with similar forums.
Members of Town Hall Meeting Panel:
(L to R) Department of Juvenile Justice Investigator Tom Witt,
Columbia High School Assistant Principal Donnie Harrison,
Columbia County Commissioner Elizabeth Porter, FHP Major Rick Carpenter,
Lake City Police Chief David Albritton and Lake City Mayor Stephen Witt.
Recently, Curt Jenkins, the Teen Court Administrator with Columbia County, arranged a meeting for members of the Criminal Justice Classes at Columbia High School with a special panel to discuss important safety issues with the high school students.
Student participation at the event was excellent, making it a huge success. Students shared their concerns about community leaders helping them find avenues to provide alcohol and drug-free places for them to hang-out and have fun. Several students asked questions about different city and county ordinances regarding drug and alcohol use. Students have asked that a larger-scale forum involving their parents be arranged for the upcoming school year.
FHPA Lieutenant Albert Twist helps a student wearing
DUI Fatal Vision goggles prepare to throw a softball at a target to dunk a trooper.
After the Town Hall meeting ended, students were invited to visit safety displays set up outside. One of the most popular displays was Dunk the Trooper, which required students to wear special DUI Fatal Vision goggles which simulate drunkenness while throwing a softball at a target to dunk a trooper. Needless to say, none of the students were able to hit the target while under the influence of the goggles.
Auxiliary Trooper Matias Perez sits in a dunking booth while
Columbia High School Students throw softballs at a target to dunk him.
The students are wearing goggles that simulate impairment.