I Let My 4 Kids Play Outside, On a Sunny Saturday. The Cops Wrote Up a Report

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

 Hi Folks! Lenore Skenazy from Free-Range Kids again. Tell me when you start getting sick of these stories: The ones where parents let their kids actually PLAY OUTSIDE and the cops come a-calling. I get these letters ALL THE TIME and am at my wit’s end, as I don’t know what to tell these traumatized parents. In fact, I just asked a cop on a post below this one (aptly titled, “Ask a Cop”). So here’s the latest letter. Since when does the government get to decide whether or not our kids are allowed to FROLIC?

Dear Free-Range Kids: I  might be labelled as an overprotective parent. I don’t allow my children to spend the night at anyone’s house, and also don’t allow anyone to spend the night here unless I know the parents very well.  This is due to my own childhood trauma.

That said: I have had social services called on me twice and the police interrogate me 4 times, because apparently I am one of only two families that allows my children to play outside at all in our neighborhood (which is very safe  . Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window.  My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter.

No, this was not after dark, it was at 4pm on a Saturday.  So my husband walked out to see what was going on, and the police officer even wrote up a report, stating that the children were left outside unsupervised.

So, since I am new to Virginia, I asked my neighbors if this was a “Virginia” thing.  Their response was, “Well, you know it just isn’t safe anymore to allow your kids to play outside.” I thought I was overprotective making them carry cellphones to check in every 30 mins, and only allowing them wander off 1/2 of a block.  Seriously?  We asked the police if they were doing anything wrong, he said, “No they were very respectful kids, I just wanted to make sure they were okay because it was odd seeing them outside unsupervised.”  We are not talking toddlers, we’re talking teens, pre-teens and one 5 year old all together. – A Mom of 4

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54 Responses to “I Let My 4 Kids Play Outside, On a Sunny Saturday. The Cops Wrote Up a Report”

  1. #1 |  LEAP | 

    Hi Lenore, great post and I can think of a couple of reasons why it does happen:

    1. The police officer is overprotective parent and brings that perspective into the job.

    2. The police officer is not a parent at all, and has misconceptions about reasonable boundaries for children of varying ages.

    3. A neighbour calls the police and makes a complaint that is either untrue or exagerrated. Police sometimes end up as unwitting pawns in neighbour disputes. If there is an allegation of child endangerment or neglect, police have to go and investigate. Once a call has been made and police attend, often (by policy) the officers have to type up a report. This holds true even if the gist of their report is “this call was unfounded.”

    4. The officer asks a child a couple of innocent questions, and the child runs home and tells the parent something entirely different. Miscommunication happens between police officers and grown adults all the time, so it should come as no surprise that it happens with children as well.

    One option is for the parent to submit an Freedom of Information request for the police report in question. That would shed light on the situation. Here is a link to the Virginia FOI Citizens Guide.

    Personally, I wouldn’t have any concerns about the situation your parent described.

    That said, I also place a high priority on any police call involving children. Listening to a dispatcher broadcast a report of a missing child always sends a chill down my spine. Cheers, Dave Bratzer

  2. #2 |  J | 

    I live in Virginia, and I’d be interested in know where this occurred in my state.

  3. #3 |  Nebuchadnezzar | 

    It seems like these kind of encounters are going to be more and more difficult to avoid thanks to the combination of “It Takes a Village” (which really means the state owns your child) and the general trends in the culture (like crime being so low, injuries so rare, that the bar is not very high for what makes people afraid).

    Part of the problem is that decent, law-abiding middle class folks in the suburbs or in the city (most of the FRK readership I’d imagine) aren’t used to dealing with LEOs – they hardly ever see them except when they go by the local speedtrap on their way to work. Most of them probably don’t personally know any LEOs.

    So there develops this attitude that only “bad people” have to deal with the police on a regular basis, as well as an ignorance of how all the machinery of justice works in the real world, leading to fear and shame whenever a cop stops to ask questions.

    That combined with the very real fear of nannyist CPS-ers taking your kids away makes these encounters very distressing. Which is funny in a way since I see a lot of stories about how CPS will clear someone of abuse charges and then the kid turns up dead with 29 stab wounds or whatever.

    I think part of the FRK mission is going to have to be about learning how to deal with police and CPS, learning how to protect yourself and your kids from abuse of authority, understanding the relevant statutes and case law, etc. As the movement grows the political arm (getting laws changed, hearts and minds, etc) will start to work – but in the meantime that doesn’t mean much to a lady who has received multiple visits from a very scary bunch of people that most parents only read about on the news.

    So maybe it would help to direct people to the resources on the Internet available (many people aren’t great at searching/don’t have time to do the research) and connect them to those communities.

  4. #4 |  Bob | 

    Yeah, this is god damned ridiculous. I realize I’ve been a critic in the past, but unless there is a KNOWN SERIOUS DANGER in that field… the police had no business intervening. Was the field full of Copperheads? No? Bulls and Cows in heat? No?

    Dave, FOIA request? Really? In Virginia? Good luck with that.

    Here’s the problem. And you’re going to have to step back and look at the really big picture to see this. Human Societies can’t exist in a steady state, they must evolve. Invariably, left to their own devices, they evolve to a more complex state. Look at the Death Penalty… in 1850, a guy was just escorted from the court room and hanged in the most convenient spot… Today, an entire litany (costing millions of dollars.) of required appeals must be preformed before the execution can take place.

    Did either system prevent innocent people from being executed? Hell no!

    Complexity of system doesn’t always equal better. Or fairer. There will always be abuse because as complexity increases, political manipulability increases as well.

    You can’t unwind the inevitable increase of complexity of human civilizations once they take place.

    At some point… you have to realize… “Holy crap! Utopia can’t exist. We’re doomed to repeat the same cycles.”

  5. #5 |  Debi | 

    This issue is one reason why my family won’t be moving anytime soon. We have tons of kids on my street. I’ve seen children as young as 3 playing out front by themselves. While I wasn’t comfortable letting my children play out front by themselves at that age, I consider it my responsibility as a part of the “village” to keep an eye on the little ones when I’m around – not to call the cops just because a parent is doing something that I wouldn’t. It seems to be a part of the culture on my street to actually let kids play. We parents also talk to each other, and let each other know when one of the kids has done something stupid or dangerous. We don’t call the cops about it. My older son has been called out to clean up a glass bottle he broke on the street and to replace a toy he broke in anger. I’ve talked to a parent about her kid cursing me out and bullying my kid, and another for trying to take my son’s bike. No police reports. No arrests. No social services. Just neighbors communicating with each other and trusting that we know what’s best for our own children, and that we’ll discipline (teach) them appropriately when they make mistakes. What a concept! I think I’ll stay here for a few more years, even though the house suddenly seems too small for my growing boys. I’d hate to move to a place where my children aren’t trusted by the neighbors or police to play in a freakin’ field.

  6. #6 |  Bob | 

    #3 Debi:

    The problem is, as society becomes more complex, the areas where you can live like that shrink.

    Let’s think about what you need for egregious police intervention in an area like yours:

    1) An over funded police department. Does your area have a politically connected police union? As police funding increases, excuses to use the police need to be found to justify the funding.

    2) Just one snitch.

  7. #7 |  Juice | 

    My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and ME…

    sorry

  8. #8 |  el coronado | 

    I’d like to think no one here is despises or is harder on cops than I am, nor more likely to assign nefarious motives to their actions. But in this case, Mom of 4…..Am pretty sure the assholes in this equation are the neighbors. (No cop in the world wants to be lumped in with the brain-dead moron that gave the panicked, escaped kid back to Jeffery Dahmer to kill & eat. And you can’t really blame ‘em for it, can you?) So NOW the question becomes, What to do about it? Your neighbors have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to fuck up your entire life, in the best case scenario; and a willingness/hope that the state actually *takes your kids from you*, in the worst case. No doubt they’re doing it with what they tell themselves are “the very best intentions”, but that doesn’t change the fact they’re putting *your life* on the line in a very real and very serious way.

    You know how the Corleones were always calmly saying, “It’s not personal – it’s just business”? And how they, with that (largely fictional) Mob sense of “Honor” would never touch a man’s family because that’d be Crossing the Line You Do Not Cross?? With neighbors like that, I’d say it’s _extremely_ personal: they’re literally attacking your family. Make of it what you will.

  9. #9 |  LEAP | 

    Bob – What is wrong with filing an FOI request in Virginia?

    Here is a response I hear sometimes when I encourage people to get involved in activism: “I don’t want to try X because I have a pre-conceived notion of how it will turn out.”

    But really, we don’t know how things will go until we try. I filed an FOI request in my province recently. They’re not difficult to do, and there are lots of resources available to provide assistance. In Virginia, for example, the Virginia Coalition for Open Government is a non-profit group that can guide people through the process. DB

  10. #10 |  Matthew | 

    Why in hell should a parent have to file a Freedom of Information request, with attendant nuisance and fees, for a report about themselves and their family, when they weren’t even doing anything wrong? What kind of backward-ass society says, “We’re talking about you, all official-like, but you can’t know what we’re saying until you pay a participation fee and jump through this hoop”? JFC. I really like LEAP, but that is some serious cop-think, right there. Here’s a tip: put down the notebook and be a human member of society, rather than an officious cog contributing to the problem.

  11. #11 |  Thom | 

    I’d bet that this happened in Northern Virginia. I’ve heard similar attitudes from people I know who live in the DC Metro Area.

  12. #12 |  Enyap | 

    “(No cop in the world wants to be lumped in with the brain-dead moron that gave the panicked, escaped kid back to Jeffery Dahmer to kill & eat. And you can’t really blame ‘em for it, can you?)”

    That moron John Balcerzak was later elected President of the Milwaukee Police Association, so i wouldn’t be so sure.

  13. #13 |  llamas | 

    “(No cop in the world wants to be lumped in with the brain-dead moron that gave the panicked, escaped kid back to Jeffery Dahmer to kill & eat. And you can’t really blame ‘em for it, can you?)”

    True enough. But I submit that there’s something of a difference between a bunch of kids playing in a field on a sunny day and a naked, bleeding and deranged teenager, at three in the morning, surrounded by members of the community disturbed enough to call 911 about him. One of these things, is not like the other.

    Anyone who suggest that cops are justified in busting kids and parents for playing outside because they MIGHT be one step away from being killed and eaten by a sadistic cannibal psycopath, is stretching any shred of reality beyond what Hooke’s Law can accommodate. This is policing by cargo-cult paranoia.

    llater,

    llamas

  14. #14 |  Chris C. | 

    #9 LEAP – FOIA requests are routinely ignored in Northern Virginia. Many county police forces across the state have made it clear, in public, that they do not believe that they are subject to outside oversight. Fairfax County, in particular, will not (for example) identify an officer involved in a shooting, ever. This is a county that uses their SWAT team to serve papers for non-violent offenses as a matter of policy. I’m pretty sure that was what Bob was thinking when he wrote his comment about needing luck when filing FOIA requests in Virginia.

  15. #15 |  JLS | 

    Serious question-Can cops ever just admit that something is none of their business? I mean if called couldn’t the police just explain that they aren’t in the business of watching people’s kids?

  16. #16 |  Mannie | 

    #9 | LEAP | August 20th, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Bob – What is wrong with filing an FOI request in Virginia?

    Aren’t the names of complainants redacted?

    #10 | Matthew | August 20th, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Why in hell should a parent have to file a Freedom of Information request,

    Many government entities now require a FOIA request for everything. I routinely had to file FOIA requests with the XXXX County Engineering department for work they had required me to do.

    @OP, you actually did put your children in danger. You repeatedly exposed them to the attention of armed intruders whose primary interest is arresting and tormenting them – the Police.

    (I don’t know whether to close that paragraph with a “/SARCASM” tag or not.)

  17. #17 |  a_random_guy | 

    If I were in your shoes, I would write a very carefully crafted letter and mail it to my neighbors. In this letter, I would make the following points:

    - In case you didn’t know, someone called the police, because my children were outside playing.

    - Thank you for your concern, but they are my kids and my responsibility.

    - If you have a problem with my kids, or my way of raising them, have the courage to come talk to me

    Only if you feel it necessary, a fourth point, but this is hard to put diplomatically

    - Further baseless complaints to the police will be treated as harrassment, and may result in legal action.

    Just my 2 cents worth…

  18. #18 |  Onlooker | 

    @ Matthew #10

    A big +1 to that!

  19. #19 |  croaker | 

    @17 Harassment, Defamation, and False Light Per Se.

    Then FOI both the police reports and 911 tapes and file a notice to retain all documents in anticipation of subpoena or lawsuit.

  20. #20 |  LEAP | 

    @14 Chris C – Thanks for the clarification regarding the FOI requests in Virginia. Often they are exercises in frustration (no matter where you are) but occasionally they result in amazing changes.

    @17 a_random_guy – I do like your idea about writing a letter and resolving this without getting more government agencies involved. DB

  21. #21 |  Mike T | 

    #2

    I live in Virginia, and I’d be interested in know where this occurred in my state.

    Probably NoVA. I grew up in Western VA and my wife in Fauquier (outside of NoVA; exurbs of DC). The cops would have laughed hysterically at the notion that this was dangerous and would probably have submitted the call to various media outlets to see if they could make beer/doughnut money off it. In NoVA, you would only be allowed to do that if you bought a drone with a GPS tracker to follow your kid wherever they went.

  22. #22 |  SWP | 

    I too live in the Commonwealth and would love to know where this took place. I just moved back from Richmond to NOVA. People are freaks up here. I guess all of this money up here has gone to their teeny-tiny brains. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if this happened in Richmond. Even bigger psychos in the capital.

    I would def. call my lawyer. This is harassment at best.

  23. #23 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside - Breaking News - U.S & World News - EarthThreats.com | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  24. #24 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside | Nwo Report | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  25. #25 |  oooorgle | 

    The Ociffer was fishing. Bake sale or lemonade anyone?

    “Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of the government.” — Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

  26. #26 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside | Russ Fye - For Your Enlightenment | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  27. #27 |  Lenore Skenazy | 

    I really like the idea of a polite, friendly letter in everyone’s mailbox, so no one feels singled out, saying something like, “We allow our kids to play outside, as our parents allowed US to play outside. It’s healthy and at least as safe as it was “back in the day” — crime rates are down compared to the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s! (Check the FBI’s website!) If our kids are disturbing you, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We want to raise good neighbors. Thanks!”
    All inspired by commenter #17!

  28. #28 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside : | 

    [...] My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  29. #29 |  jesus_loves_you! | 

    Never, ever let your children talk to the police by themselves. Most police are bad apples.

  30. #30 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside - Conservative Read | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  31. #31 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  32. #32 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside - Rise of the Right | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  33. #33 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside | DailyDopeNews.com | 

    [...] home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. “No, this was not after dark, it was at 4pm on a Saturday. So my husband walked out to see what [...]

  34. #34 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside | The Next Truth | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  35. #35 |  Father Arrested for Leaving His Kids at the Park for Two Hours | 

    [...] this a random event? No. Here is a letter from a mother in Virginia. I  might be labelled as an overprotective parent. I don’t allow my children to spend the night [...]

  36. #36 |  CEDRIC WARD | 

    @27
    I would STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST leaving anything in someone’s mailbox.
    IT IS AGAINST THE LAW!

    EXAMPLE:
    Back in the early 2000s I was traveling through Helena Montana on vacation with two cats on board my trailer. After stopping at a local laundry and pulling up to a large open field to watch the evening news, one of my cats disappeared (I regularly let them out to run about when I travel with NO PROBLEMS whatsoever). My male cat Gunsmoke ran to a nearby yard and I figured he would stay nearby as both my cats always stay nearby and are used to being let out in new areas. Well, he didn’t come back.

    It turns out some idiot killed him for jumping on his truck and ‘scratching it’.

    I searched everywhere for twelve days combing the nearby neighborhood and knocking on doors.

    I printed up an 8 by 11 letter with my cats picture on it and how to contact me. I put the letter in peoples’ mail boxes if they weren’t home.

    Not only was I accused by one parent of being a child molester because some kids followed me and wanted to help me hand out my fliers and was stopped by the police and surrounded in a market parking lot after searching all day and headed to a local Walmart to stay overnight before searching again the next day, but I was told NOT to put my flier in mail boxes as they were POSTAL PROPERTY!
    I was even visited by School Resource Officer who told me I should not go near the local grammar school that was adjacent to the area where my cat disappeared where I had talked to the principal and asked her to see if any of the kids had seen my cat.

    Well, instead of putting my flier IN THE MAIL BOXES, I continued to simply TAPE my fliers to the boxes or somewhere near them.

    NOBODY IN HELENA MONTANA of an official nature seemed to give a damn about the fact that someone KILLED MY CAT for ‘jumping on his truck’.

    This information was given to me by a man who was visiting his daughter close to where my cat disappeared when he overheard two men talking about killing my cat in a local fast food business. He responded to either my flier or the large signs I posted on the sides of my trailer that was parked in the area where my cat disappeared during the day while I searched for him.

    What would that type of person do to a child?

    I went to the local newspaper, talked with the local TV channels and any other agency that should know that type of person was loose in their community.

    I was met mostly with DISINTEREST about my plight.

    The local news people acted like “what do you want us to do about it?”

    They showed NO INTEREST in warning their community of such activity which should be one of their PRIMARY DUTIES!

    I was treated like a suspicious child molester by the police for looking for my lost pet.

    I did meet some very nice people in the area who went out of their way to help me though.

    There is more detail to this story, but that should give you all a good idea of what an average person goes through in just trying to find his lost pet in a strange community.

    DO NOT EXPECT TO BE TREATED KINDLY BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES OR THE LOCAL MEDIA!

    THEY WILL THINK YOU ARE JUST A NUT CASE!

    The event changed my perception of the police and media forever!

  37. #37 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside : Federal Jack | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  38. #38 |  Doc Merlin | 

    And people complain that kids play too many video games.
    THIS IS WHY YOU IDIOTIS.

  39. #39 |  Doc Merlin | 

    This is another reason you need to leave the suburbs and leave the city. You need to move to the country, the only way to be free of these busybodies is to escape.

  40. #40 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside « Talesfromthelou's Blog | 

    [...] My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  41. #41 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside « Stop Making Sense | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  42. #42 |  John | 

    those kids need to be taught not to talk to police or other government sociopaths.

  43. #43 |  Cops Interrogate Family For Allowing Kids To Play Outside « TaJnB | TheAverageJoeNewsBlogg | 

    [...] “Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window. My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter,” the mother writes. [...]

  44. #44 |  So You Think You Are Free? : Personal Liberty Alerts | 

    [...] The Department of Homeland Security has released a number of Orwellian videos like this one encouraging Americans to spy on one another and tattle like school kids. The result has been people reporting to authorities all sorts of legal activities that “concern” them — like the Pittsburgh father who was charged with child endangerment and subjected to a child protective services investigation because he left his children to play in a park (something kids have been doing for generations). In Virginia, letting kids play outside unsupervised got a mom a visit from police. [...]

  45. #45 |  So, you REALLY think that you are FREE?……………think again and this time with your eyes open! | The Right Of Way | 

    [...] The Department of Homeland Security has released a number of Orwellian videos like this one encouraging Americans to spy on one another and tattle like school kids. The result has been people reporting to authorities all sorts of legal activities that “concern” them — like the Pittsburgh father who was charged with child endangerment and subjected to a child protective services investigation because he left his children to play in a park (something kids have been doing for generations). In Virginia, letting kids play outside unsupervised got a mom a visit from police. [...]

  46. #46 |  So You Think You Are Free? | Harrison Reports | 

    [...] The Department of Homeland Security has released a number of Orwellian videos like this one encouraging Americans to spy on one another and tattle like school kids. The result has been people reporting to authorities all sorts of legal activities that “concern” them — like the Pittsburgh father who was charged with child endangerment and subjected to a child protective services investigation because he left his children to play in a park (something kids have been doing for generations). In Virginia, letting kids play outside unsupervised got a mom a visit from police. [...]

  47. #47 |  So You Think You Are Free? | Wichita Observer | 

    [...] The Department of Homeland Security has released a number of Orwellian videos like this one encouraging Americans to spy on one another and tattle like school kids. The result has been people reporting to authorities all sorts of legal activities that “concern” them — like the Pittsburgh father who was charged with child endangerment and subjected to a child protective services investigation because he left his children to play in a park (something kids have been doing for generations). In Virginia, letting kids play outside unsupervised got a mom a visit from police. [...]

  48. #48 |  Kandy | 

    As a police officer, I can say just one thing….if I park my patrol car, walk across a field and began speaking to your oldest daughter and you do not know that I am there until your 10 year old runs to tell you…..then were you really “supervising” your children?

    Thank GOD it was a police office and not a child molester. And yes, MOM OF FOUR, those molestors do live in, around, and near YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. And the sad thing is, they prey on people like you who turn their kids out into the streets, and fields with no supervision. Honesly, how hard is it to sit outside in a lawn chair and actually WATCH YOUR CHILDREN PLAY??????

    Stop labeling the cop the bad guy here for ensuring the safety of these children. Had been snatched, GOD FORBID, every one would be pissing and moaning about “where were the cops”??? Why is my neighborhood not safe???? OMG…..get over it! Your kids, YOUR RESPONSBILITY, PERIOD!

  49. #49 |  Andrew S. | 

    Kandy, pop quiz. What percentage of child molesters are not relatives/friends of the family? How many stranger kidnappings are there in the United States per year?

    I hope you’re trolling, and not actually a police officer. Because if you are really a police officer, I’m scared. Not of a child molester, but of the way police think of children and parents nowadays.

  50. #50 |  ddbaxte | 

    Kandy, the last sentence of your statement completely contradicts the rest of it.

  51. #51 |  stronginva | 

    There’s something wrong with the world when your kids can’t go outside and play.

  52. #52 |  confused | 

    I let my kids play outside all the time. they know the rules and do not stray from them. I live on a corner and my friends are my neighbors but i never let my kids out of eye sight. The parent should always keep the kids in sight if you have to go inside for any length of time bring them in till you are done. they will understand.
    As for the police. they have a job to do and most do it without trying to cause problems.(I personly do not like them all the time) they never cause me trouble with my kids because I am there watching them. Even when I am working on a car I can still tell you where they are at all times just by there sound. If anyone talks to my kids I stop everything and see who it is and what they want.
    I like lenore sugestion of raising good neighbors. but the point is you should always watch your kids in any town. the country the kids usually carry a 22 with them so watch out preditors. :) Respect the cop and they do the same respect the neighbor and they call the cops.

  53. #53 |  Warren | 

    @Kandy
    Please inform us as to where you are a law enforcement officer. Not to cause you any problems. I just wish to know where not to ever move to.

    Your attitude is one of the reasons why LEO’s get a bad reputation. Your opinion is no more right than mine, just because you have a badge.

    You are absolutely right, ” Your kids. Your responsibility. Period!”. So that means, leave them alone when they are playing, they have my permission and confidence. You do not have the right to undermine my authority, with my children, nor do you have the right to impose your parenting ideals, on me. They are my kids, my responsibility. Period! Get over it!

  54. #54 |  Warren | 

    @Kandy
    How about this…STAY ON YOUR ASS, IN YOUR CAR, AND LEAVE MY PLAYING CHILDREN ALONE!

    The major issue has nothing to do with the officer talking to the kids. The problem? The cop wrote up a report. Neither the kids nor the parents were doing anything wrong, and yet they were treated like they were.
    Here in Ontario, Canada my daughters have been spoken to by the provincial police a few times when, they are out and about. But these fine officers are only being friendly, and saying hi. Because these officers are wise enough to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with kids being out and about on their own.
    So take your badge endowed righteousness and go do your job. Which does not include harassing innocent children and their parents.
    Also, stop the fear mongering. If you do not know that the vast majority of all crimes commited against children come from within the home, and that stranger danger is a crock, you should not be wearing a badge.

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