The City of Canyon is blessed to have such a thriving downtown shopping district. It’s very impressive to see the influx of individuals coming from all areas to eat and shop in Canyon.
We are seeing a problem that continues to manifest itself. The number of young kids hanging around the square on Wednesday and Friday afternoons has grown significantly. With those increases comes problems.
I sat up on the square to watch the kids, to determine if reports of misconduct had any validity. All reports that I was informed of were valid and needed immediate law enforcement attention. Granted, the kids are making small purchases at the Soda Shop and Cake Company. That is healthy for any business, however I’m not sure that the little inflow of proceeds is worth the headache that is going on outside their shops. I must add, not all the kids are acting up. Kids will be kids and they should be. We only grow up once. What else do they have to do?
The conduct, of these kids, becomes a law enforcement problem when the safety of the public is put at risk. On the day I was watching, three kids were riding scooters on the sidewalk located on the west side of the square. An elderly female was seen walking out of the Hillside Church office. I would guess she was in her mid to late 70’s. She was adjusting her small purse on her left arm. Fortunately, she looked up just before she was struck by one of the kids speeding by on a scooter. I could see the relief on her face that she wasn’t hit. Another kid was doing some type of spin trick on the scooter. The scooter flew from the boy’s hands and ended up against the wall of Johnston’s Hardware very near the glass pane. Lastly, I was later informed by a business owner, about a kid trying to push over, or break off a tree planted on the courthouse grounds. The kid was extremely disrespectful to a citizen who had approached him, inquiring about his behavior. Exactly what was this kid thinking?
Outside the Soda Shop, and toward Johnston’s Hardware, was a large gathering of kids blocking the sidewalk. I observed a citizen walk between, and around the cars parked on the street, just to get around the kids. These kids would not let the women pass. After seeing such a clear disrespect for others, I had to call in patrol officers to address the safety and conduct problems.
The Canyon Police Department has set a course of action. One of our school resource officer’s will be posted on the square, when needed, to address any incident that arises. We have chosen to reach out to parents, who allow their kids to go to the square, to set expectations and parameters. Police will be calling parents to come remove their child if found causing problems. We would like to reach out to the churches to begin Wednesday church activities earlier, if possible.
It is our policy to take the less adverse enforcement action on juvenile offenders. We will continue to adhere to the policy, unless we have repeat offenders, or the incident is of a nature that law dictates a more aggressive enforcement action.