Washington Township School District issues crime alert
All Washington Township district families and staff were alerted Thursday in the wake of recent crimes on the Indianapolis north side.
The alert asks residents to increase vigilance in their neighborhoods, homes, and around school bus stops.
Kids told police a man in a green truck tried to lure them with money at 64th and Hoover. They say a man with a scooter claimed his scooter wasn't working and he needed help at 70th and Caroline.
The Metropolitan School District of Washington Township is sending out letters Thursday, warning parents and students about the incidents, telling them to be aware of anyone that seems suspicious at bus stops and to report it right away.
Mark Zinn watched his son's football team practiced Wednesday night, probably with more attentiveness than he has had with his two children at their school bus stop in Washington Township.
"They need to be watched every morning. My wife and I are always there, every day," he said.
Zinn will be stepping up even more so now, with the latest alert from the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township and police issuing a warning about two suspicious men at two separate bus stops in the district, trying to lure kids toward them.
"I want to seem 'em get on the bus," said Zinn of his children. "Maybe that's a little overprotective possibly, but I don't know that it is in today's society."
"There are just too many crazy things going on nowadays," added Evelyn Brown.
Brown was watching the same football practice to see her grandson.
"He's in the white shirt with the 56 on it," she pointed out.
Brown's focus here on out will be the warning from the school district. Her grandson and granddaughter live with her and she puts them on the bus to school everyday.
"I sit out on my front porch and watch 'em get on the bus stop," said Brown. "I just feel safer and I watch 'em until they get on the bus. I just feel safer that way."
That's how Zinn has felt since his children started school.
"Society's bad. So they're the only thing we have to protect 'em," he said.
Zinn said he's glad for the warning from the school district about the latest incidents so he and his wife can be even more aware. He said he's already got it covered and cautions other parents to do the same.
"Just watch your kid. No one else is," he added.
Letter to parents
Here's the message district families and staff received Wednesday night from Dr. Nikki Woodson:
"Last evening I called your home with an important community safety alert message. Today, I want to reiterate the importance of increased safety awareness for our community. Over the past few days there has been a rise in criminal activity in the Washington Township community. Two of these incidents include suspicious activity at bus stops and we are asking for all families to increase awareness around their homes as well as with the personal safety of students.
For your knowledge, and so that you can best protect your family; one bus stop incident involved a suspicious adult approaching children from their car and enticing them to come closer by throwing money to them. The other incident involved a suspicious adult riding a scooter, claiming to children that he needed assistance. Thankfully no students were harmed and both incidents were reported to IMPD.
The school district is acutely aware of these activities and we are taking action to do what we can to support safety of staff and students who are in our care. The recent incidents however have all occurred off school property in our general Washington Township community and neighborhoods. We are asking everyone to stay alert and follow the community safety guideline, "If you see something, say something" by calling 911."
The Washington Township School Safety Department and the North District of IMPD have increased direct and under-cover patrols in our community. Additionally, our school bus drivers have been directed to be watchful for suspicious activity, as they are in and out of neighborhoods, and to report anything that appears to be unusual.
Please stay extra vigilant with trick-or-treat activities that may be taking place in your neighborhoods tonight or over the weekend if you choose to participate. Lastly, as we turn our clocks back on Saturday night, please be aware that it will be even darker at the AM bus stops starting on Monday morning.
Thanks for your commitment to safety in our Washington Township community!
Dr. Woodson, Superintendent