Students, parents, staff, and motorists near Seneca Valley High School should have noticed an increased presence of Montgomery County Police officers around the school this week during arrival and dismissal times.
According to 5th District Deputy Commander, Lt. Jae Hwang, the MCPD has assigned additional patrol cars to be in the area of the high school. The increase is in response to an incident last Friday when a 15-year-old student was struck by a vehicle while in the crosswalk at the intersection of Middlebrook Road and Crystal Rock Drive, which is adjacent to the school.
“Obviously, we want all the kids to be safe, and we’d like to have more officers at all the schools during arrival and dismissal times,” said Hwang. “Prior to last Friday’s incident, we had officers in the area of Northwest High School. But for now, we will have high visibility enforcement, meaning at least two or more officers at Seneca Valley.”
Montgomery County Police confirmed that 15-year-old male suffered “very minor” injuries after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on the morning of January 12 as he crossed the street to get to school. Police are still looking for the driver and the vehicle.
MCPD spokesperson Rick Goodale said the student was in the crosswalk of the eastbound lanes of Middlebrook Road when the car making a left-turn from Crystal Rock Road struck the student. According to Goodale, the student suffered “very, very minor injuries but because of his age and that his parents were not available he could not refuse medical treatment and was taken to the Germantown Emergency Center on Germantown Road for evaluation.”
Hwang said that the increased enforcement began on Tuesday, Jan. 16 and includes at least two or more officers on roads near the school. “That includes a traffic squad officer, as well as a day-shift officer so that we have visibility. It is about situational awareness for the motorists and the pedestrians that are on the roads,” said Hwang. “Once we start motorists and students will see us in the area and recognize what is going on and we may pull back a little.” He said that traffic patterns and behavior usually change after a week. “However, we will definitely keep the focus on Seneca Valley as a point of emphasis, along with Northwest High School.”
Hwang noted that the added officers will coordinate with the assigned School Resource Officer who is always around the outside of the school helping with traffic flow during arrival and dismissal.
There have been two students struck by vehicles while walking to Seneca Valley High School this school year, and a 15-year-old student was struck and killed by a vehicle in October 2012.
Top: MCPD police cruiser parked in front of Seneca Valley High School near dismissal time on Tuesday afternoon.
Next: Two MCPD police cars wait at the traffic light at the intersection of Middlebrook Road and Great Seneca Highway near Seneca Valley High School during dismissal time on Tuesday afternoon.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.