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Senator CLARK. Would you say, generally speaking, the young people who get into trouble are there are a good many more proportionately who are Negroes than white?
Senator WILSON. Would you say, generally speaking, the young people who get into trouble are there are a good many more proportionately who are Negroes than white?
Lieutenant WILSON. No, sir; this would be lower-our Negro population, the percentage of involvement would be lower than that of the white.
Senator CLARK. That is interesting, because in Philadelphia, for example, an enormous percentage of the crimes of violence are perpetrated by the Negro population. Of course, we have a much bigger proportion.
Well, now, gentleman-I do not want to cut you off.
Does that pretty well cover the waterfront? Or are there some parts of the system you think we have not touched that you would like to say a word about?
Lieutenant WILSON. Yes, sir; I feel that would cover the court system.
Senator CLARK. We ticked off various areas of your interest. Have we skipped some?
I tried to take it from the time they were on the dance floor, too crowded, to the time they got into jail. I cannot recall anything we missed.
Lieutenant WILSON. I think this covers it quite well.
We have mentioned the lack of-Colonel Durrer has mentioned the lack of parental control-although there are many other contributing factors.
Senator CLARK. We talked about the school system. We talked about the correctional system.
And that is the general area, colonel, is it, where you would spend this $10 million if you had it?
Colonel DURRER. This is just about it.
Captain, would you have any further suggestions on how we could spend this $10 million?
Captain EIKE. Last night our Youth Council met, and we discusged-Colonel Durrer, Lieutenant Wilson and myself yesterday, in discussing this project this morning-discussed the possibility of utilizing more fully our schools. We have 107-142 schools in the county.
Senator CLARK. Excuse me a moment. Are those schools-are they integrated?
Captain EIKE. Yes, sir.
Senator CLARK. You don't have separate schools?
Captain EIKE. No, sir. One hundred and forty-two schools. They are geographically located to where a vast majority of the youngsters could walk to them for recreation purposes. This was discussed at length last night at your Youth Council meeting. We felt that the young people do not want to associate the schools with recreation. There are is a stigma attached, as they told us last night, where they are required, for instance, to wear shirts with collars, trousers with belts during school
Senator CLARK. Get their hair cut every so often.
Captain EIKE. Right. And in the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays, they like to relax in sweat shirts and levis. They feel if they go 5 days a week, 7 hours a day, being dictated to, they do not want to be dictated to in their recreation time. They feel their time should be their own, and they want to plan their own recreation.
For instance, last year we found that youngsters had planned a dance to where 1,500 invitations were mailed out. They had found a barn on an abandoned farm and planned this elaborate party-with alcohol on down.
That shows their desire to organize.
One of the things we feel, both in our Youth Council, and also on our Juvenile Committee, made up department heads of recreation schools, and the police, that roving leaders that would lead these youngsters into the right way perhaps would work, as opposed to shoving them—and I agree with them-they get shoved 7 hours a day, and who wants to go on shoving to do this, that, and the other?
So with this money-they all agreed last night, if money was available, a youth center-get away from the name "center"-the type of building of school-a building of the youth center type would be what they desire. Of course, they are intelligent seniors-they realize it takes money. But they want to stay away from the schools. This without question, to a person.
Senator CLARK. Do you think any part of this is due to unimaginative administration by the schools? I find in suburban rural Pennsylvania, for example, that most of the school principals and superintendents are pretty alert to making their facilities available after hours and over the weekend for dances. They do not impose strict regulations with respect to dress. Of course, they won't allow alcohol at a school dance in a school building. But they have organized athletics which the kids seem to enjoy participating in the girls as well as the boys.
I don't know-maybe there is something peculiar about my State. I would have thought that a real good superintendent or principal would be able to devise methods by which the facilities of the school could be used for recreation in off-hours, and the kids would be happy to come.
Captain EIKE. Our facilities are available. We have a fine recreation program where the schools are thrown open on weekends and at night. But this is something that the youngsters have built up in their own mind. There is no restriction during the off-hours. They can come in levis and sweat shirts and shorts and slacks, if they like. But I think it is the idea that for 7 hours they have been watched-this is the impression they left with me last night-to wear a shirt with a collar, pants with a belt, and this sort of thing, and they go back-they are hesitant to go back into the school dressed sloppily, because they have been there for 7 hours. And it is in their own mind. This is not a regulation. As long as they are clothed decently, this is all rightand the schools are open. And they are being utilized to an extent, but not to the extent that we of the police department would like to see them used. We still have the percentage who will loiter on the street corner, and not go across the street into the school to participate in recreation. And this is the problem we are working on, in
trying to get these youngsters from the street corner across the street into the school.
Senator CLARK. Now, to what extent is alcohol a problem? And I am particularly interested in your Virginia law, which is different from many of the States, where only beer and wine are sold.
Captain EIKE. We have a 21-year rule, except for 3.2 beer. Surprisingly enough, these youngsters last night told us 60 percent of the high school students drink. I did not realize it was this high. But this is by their admission-60 percent of the kids-this is their own words, not ours that
Senator CLARK. This would be hard liquor?
Captain EIKE. No, beer. Hard liquor of course is purchased only in package stores, and the State maintains a tight control over the liquor stores. ABC, they are licensed, but these are privately owned.
Senator CLARK. You do not think there are many of these kids misrepresenting their age and getting hard liquor?
Captain EIKE. Not hard liquor. We know they misrepresent their age to get beer.
Senator CLARK. Do you consider this beer drinking a serious problem in connection with juvenile delinquency?
Captain EIKE. Yes, sir, we do.
Senator CLARK. How about drugs-narcotics, and particularly marihuana and LSD?
Captain EIKE. This year we have had well over 100 percent increase in narcotics violations among our young people. It is basically marihuana-no hard drugs, such as heroin or opium.
Senator CLARK. How about controlling that from the legal situation? Are you having any luck in picking up the peddlers?
Captain EIKE. Yes, sir, we have been very successful in recent weeks in making arrests. We have been averaging about an arrest every 3 or 4 days, and some good seizures.
Senator CLARK. Well, gentlemen, that covers everything I have in mind. I wonder if you would care to add anything? We are very grateful to you for your help.
Colonel DURRER. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for allowing us to appear here. Any time we can help you, please call on us.
Senator CLARK. You have been very helpful, and I appreciate your coming. Thank you very much.
Colonel DURRER. Thank you, sir.
(The prepared statement of Colonel Durrer follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF COL. WILLIAM L. DURRER, CHIEF OF POLICE,
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee and to give testimony in regards to suburban crime as related to juveniles.
I am Col. William L. Durrer, chief of police, Fairfax County, Va., and have held this position for the past 10 years.
Our county is in the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., has a land area of 400 square miles and a population of 400,000 plus. Our population has more than doubled in the past decade and is continuing to grow at the rate of 20,000 new residents per year.
As in all suburban jurisdictions across the Nation, the crime rate in Fairfax County is on the increase. Last year, our increase in crime amounted to 11.7 percent-the national average for suburban areas is about 12 percent. The populace of Fairfax County consists of Federal employees and military personnel,
with an average income exceeding $12,000 per year. In an affluent county, such as Fairfax, this does not exclude us from the delinquency problem involving young people. We are experiencing the same problems that other areas have that have urbanized in such a short period of time. Some of the most serious crimes committed in Fairfax County by juveniles are grand larceny, auto larceny, petty larceny and vandalism. In more recent months, the acts of vandalizing public buildings (the vast majority being schools) has increased trenmedously. I must hasten to add that the increase in the vandalism to schools is not only a local problem, but is experienced nationwide.
It should be noted that juvenile delinquency is nothing new to society. We can revert back to one of the oldest documents known to man-the Bible-looking in the Book of Proverbs, we find passages pertaining to the youth of that day. I feel that juvenile delinquency-the same as adult crime can never be stopped-only controlled.
Reliable statisticians throughout the country indicate, as do our records, that the juvenile problem is definitely on the increase and is cause for great concern. This increase can be attributed to several factors-our suburban society has become more demanding for police service. Some time ago, a broken window or a trivial larceny was not reported-today, it is, and this type of offense causes crime-rate increases.
We must also consider the new laws which have been passed recently. Some years ago, offenses covered by these new laws, were not considered to be crimes, such as loitering violations, firearms violations, etc. In an urban area, we find a great influx of people-it does not typify a small town or rural area when a youngster gets into difficulty, as a relative would be close by as an outsider to assist with the problem. In our county, the police are called immediately, and in many cases, make the referral to court.
Preceding the criminal violations, such as larcenies and assaults, we have the delinquent violations, such as the incorrigible youngsters in the home and the runaways. Youngsters in this category are potential problems for all of society and must be treated accordingly, as to the apprehension and disposition thereafter.
In working with young people, we find many contributing factors in our delinquency problem. Foremost on the list is home environment. This would consist of lack of proper parental responsibility and discipline. This, within itself, covers a multitude of sins-from the parents who overindulge to those who say, "When I was young, I had it rough and I turned out all right-I see no reason why you shouldn't be treated likewise." We also have the parents who are too busy climbing the social ladder or getting ahead at their job—and their youngsters are deprived of a healthy family life.
As juvenile delinquency is climbing in the suburban area, so is drinking in the home. This leaves its mark on our children—and the scar is normally reflected by the excessiveness. There is also the parent who just is not interested or feels the minimum amount of discipline is necessary-who is afraid the child might rebel in a fashion to disgrace or embarrass the parent. Then, there is the parent who feels that their child can do no wrong-or the parent, himself, who has no respect for authority--this being indicated by the response of the child.
We also have the community environment where our young people get acquainted and socialize with the so-called "undesirables." In some cases, this has a tendency to lead a young person astray. There is also the physical factor which cannot be excluded in the youngster who is affected by physical abnormalities, such as deafness, blindness, speech impediments, etc.
Our area is greatly affected by the antisocial factor. We have youngsters moving into our area from rural areas who feel that they are in the city-and those who come from cities thinking it is the country. Both have difficulty in adjusting. It would be nice to eliminate the poverty factor, but even in our high-income area, it cannot be excluded.
There are many other contributing factors too numerous to mention. It should be noted, however, that there are youngsters from bad homes, poor community environments, those emotionally disturbed, and those who are antisocial, who never become delinquents. Often, it depends on the individual and his personality as to the situation with which he or she can cope.
It appears, from working with these young people, that the financial standing has a bearing, to a degree, on some of the offenses involved. For example, middle and upper class youngsters tend to need mobility; therefore, we find a high percentage of this group involved in unauthorized use of motor vehicles and
the larceny of auto accessories. Those youngsters from poverty-striken homes seldom get involved in this type of an offense in our area. Those young people who run away from the poor homes are usually located in the close proximity of their homes. Those youngsters running away from home from the middle and upper class may, quite often, be located in distant cities and States. The lower class family considers truancy very lightly-whereas, the middle-class family feels strongly toward education. The upper class family feels that education is a must and the parents take strong corrective action or send their youngsters to a private school.
It has been said that the first teacher is the parent and the first classroom is the home. Let's take a look at our school system as our young people spend a great deal of their time there. Over the past few years, we have seen the school losing its authority due to complaints filed by parents in regards to disciplinary measures issued to their children. By this, we do not mean that the child can be mistreated by a teacher or a principal, but once a child has been issued a disciplinary measure from the school, such as cleaning up, staying after school, suspension, etc., the withdrawal of this disciplinary action should not be made possible by influence or pressure groups. Once the school authorities have lost this control, the respect for the school is lost, not only by the child involved, but by every child who hears of the incident and every parent who hears the uneducated version.
As law enforcement officers, we cannot be critical of youth, as it is a time of trying experiences. Trying to find out who they are-and to adapt to different roles-kids have a need to see and be seen. With the many complexities of this juvenile problem, we, in the law enforcement field, as in other agencies concerned with out people, are striving to adjust and meet the needs in image and enforcement.
In an attempt to solve our growing problem, our first step would be to give the school authority it once maintained. Our juvenile court was originally set up to be an informal hearing with the youngsters and parents. With recent court decisions, it has become a battlefield for the prosecuting and defense attorneys, in the presence of the youthful offender-with great formalities present. Rehabilitation on a probation basis is excellent, but when we have the youngster on probation for auto larceny and he is picked up for a criminal violation for the second or third time, then I question this rehabilitation theory.
There is no simple answer for our problem. We all must work together to bring about solutions. We all must work together to keep abreast of the changing attitudes of our young people. They do not want to be led-they want to lead-and in certain areas, this can be accomplished. Fairfax County has a definite lack of recreational facilities for young people. We have many school auditoriums where dances, for instance, could be held weekly-but again, the young people are being led. Youngsters want to do things by themselves-for themselves-and this is the area where they can be the leaders. Recreation centers, spaced throughout the county, would be a twofold accomplishment. We would be able to accomplish our lack of facilities, and the young people would be the leaders.
At present, we also have a lack of chaparone-controlling; however, we believe enough interest could be raised by recreation centers, that this problem would not longer exist. A so-called "board of directors" could be chosen from a group of interested parents to become chaparones at the various functions the young people would be able to hold in these centers.
Here, I have attempted to present a brief picture as to the problems we are encountering in Fairfax County and to some possible solutions. The vast majority of young people in Fairfax County are vivacious, wholesome and good kids. I would like to see them stay this way. I would like to have recreational facilities in Fairfax County for all age groups-so that all young people of tomorrow will be like the vast majority of our young people today.
Senator CLARK. Our next witness will be a panel consisting of the Honorable Joseph P. Hurley, representing the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges, and the Honorable Walter G. Whitlatch, representing the same organization.
Gentlemen, we are very happy to have you with us. Please come forward.
We have your prepared statements here, gentlemen. I will ask to have them printed in full in the record.