FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HAMMOND, LA – (September 12, 2017) – Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reports the following:
"Nationally, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 years old. In most metropolitan areas, 80% of the population lives within one mile of a registered sex offender. Only 1 in 3 children will report the incident. These statistics are very concerning to me. Sex offenders cross socio-economic boundaries, living in the richest and poorest neighborhoods."
"As law enforcement, we are proud to partner with Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Mark Kolwe &The Offenderwatch Initiative Foundation launching in the schools the T.A.S.K. program 'Teaching Awareness to School Kids (T.A.S.K).' With over 300 sex offenders in Tangipahoa Parish – protecting children is my highest priority. Parents who register for the T.A.S.K. program can view a map that shows sex offenders who live nearby and provide them with email alerts when sex offenders move into their area."
"It’s important to always know your neighbor. In today’s world, there is strong need for parents to talk to their children about sexual abuse and how to prevent it."
"In partnering with T.A.S.K, we are boldly asking parents to:
- Be open with your children so they can feel safe to share their fears.
- Encourage your child to be cautious and not afraid.
- Teach them how to recognize suspicious behaviors;
- and to trust their own instincts. More importantly for them to know sometimes it’s ok to say NO to an adult."
"This approach uses best practices and collaboration in an effort to keep our children safe and informed. Students will be sent home with a brochure instructing parents how to enroll in the T.A.S.K.. Program and we encourage every parent or guardian to do so."
“Ultimately, our goal is to send a clear message to predators everywhere that the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriffs Office, our law enforcement partners and our school system are arming our children with the tools needed to protect themselves. We want it to be known that protecting children is our number a one priority, and as long as there are predators out there who want to victimize our children, we will commit our resources into protecting them," stated Edwards.
Below is a message from Sheriff Edwards to all Tangi Parents:
Generous donors and sponsors like the Berry Patch Café, Hancock/Whitney Bank, and Ross Downing Chevrolet make the T.A.S.K. program possible. To see how you can help by becoming a sponsor or donor of this valuable program in your community, please visit: OffenderWatchInitiative.org/donate