Thomasville parents concerned about predators -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville parents concerned about predators

May 4, 2006

Thomasville- A Pavo man arrested this week for touching himself inappropriately in a Thomasville park while kids played nearby has parents frightened. Phone calls from concerned parents have the police department's phones ringing off the hook.

Thomasville has numerous parks and places for kids to play. A threat this week to kids' safety when a man was caught touching himself at Remington Park has parents on edge.

"I'm not really surprised in this decade with the things that are going on. I don't want my child around it so of course I would keep a good eye on her," said Bobbie Quick, a concerned parent.

It's made parents extra cautious.

"There are times when I have to be at my little boy's T-ball game and send my older girls over across the field to their games, so I am very concerned because there are wooded areas over there and I certainly want them to be safe," said Beth Artie, a concerned parent.

Parent concerns may grow as more kids hit the playground this summer but the police department says there are some things you can do to keep your kids safe.

"Know at all time, where your child is, if you can't be with your child, make sure there's a trusted adult there that's going to be chaperoning. If your child needs to go to the bathroom, go with them," said Sgt. Rachelle Denmark, Thomasville Police.

Teach kids to use the buddy system. Strangers are less likely to prey upon a group of kids.

"We're asking parents not to put their child's name on the back of their sports jerseys. I know that's a fun thing to do, but if somebody sees that name they're apt to call that child by name," said Denmark.

Keep in contact, invest in something like walkie talkies, and if something looks suspicious it probably is and police encourage residents to call. The Thomasville Police Department will increase their patrols around the parks and encourage parents to remain cautious.