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Valleywide Focus

Police Sweep Nets 38 Truant Students

October 12, 1994|ED BOND

In a sweep of West San Fernando Valley teen-age hangouts, police picked up 38 truant high school and middle school students Tuesday and returned them to class.

Sgt. Dan Mastro of the Los Angeles Police Department West Valley Division said that police conducted the sweep because they "had a lot of complaints coming from business owners."

"Burglaries have increased slightly in the Ventura Boulevard area," he added.

Five police officers in three squad cars swept through school areas, checking side streets, malls, fast-food places and other hangouts between 8 a.m. and noon.

Of the truants caught, eight were from Parkman Middle School in Woodland Hills; five from Cleveland High School in Reseda; 10 from Taft High School in Woodland Hills; 10 from Canoga Park High School, and three from Reseda High School.

Two of the teen-agers caught in the sweep were Chatsworth High School students, which is outside of the West Valley Division area.

Mastro said police "hope it will be a learning experience" for the truant students. However, he said not all the students who were playing hooky Tuesday morning were caught. "We had a lot that ran from us," Mastro said. "We didn't get them. We'll get them another day." Parkman Middle School Principal Michael Bennett said he was delighted with the police action.

"This is good," said Bennett, who added that the eight students caught in the sweep will each perform six hours of community service, such as helping clean lunch tables or working with the anti-graffiti program Operation Sparkle.

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