BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Palm Beach County School Police department was alerted Wednesday night to a suspicious car outside Whispering Pines Elementary School. We’ve reported on this throughout the day.
But in the hours since Principal Barbara Reimer alerted parents through a Robo Call that the school went to “code yellow” as police looked for a white pickup truck, we learned that the police officer assigned to Whispering Pines opted for a meeting indoors while kids were dropped off between 7:20 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., instead of standing outside and using his police powers of observation to see if the truck returned to the area.
In several emails with the Palm Beach County School District, no specific information about the truck was released. No photo — which we’ve learned exists — and no license plate number.
Contrast that with standard procedures from area police departments, including Boca Raton, PBSO, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach — all routinely release information quickly. It appears the Palm Beach County School Police Department is not quite ready for prime time.
We are calling on new police chief Frank Kitzerow to, quite simply, get it together. Secrecy won’t work in the Palm Beach County School District. When there’s a threat, as small as it may be, the school district police force MUST come forward with anything it can release, and promptly. Parents want to know what’s happening, and expect to know right away.
A complete information blackout when a principal is already telling hundreds of parents that a suspicious vehicle has been reported is completely unacceptable.
When critics say that the Palm Beach County School District shouldn’t have its own police force, this is why. Other police forces understand the importance of releasing information. The Palm Beach County School District police force apparently believes in secrecy and fear. That must change.