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Police promise to be vigilant during graduations

June 13, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

As high school students prepare for graduation or continue to celebrate, police departments in the Imperial Valley are prepared to keep a close eye on the celebrants.

Officials at all local departments but one said although they usually don't have any serious incidents in their cities after graduations, they add patrol units to make sure celebrations don't get out of hand.

In Calexico, police Lt. Jim Neujahr said the one problem the department seems to have to deal with is fights.

"For some reason, I guess because it's the last day of school and they feel free, they get into fights to start off the summer," said Neujahr.

He said the fights seem to happen every graduation night.

In Brawley, police Lt. John Myers said the department plans to have about eight bicycle patrol units to help regulate the parties that go on after graduation. Myers said the parties usually involve underage drinkers, so police simply break up the affairs.

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Imperial police Capt. Gary Cox said his department always adds extra units as a precautionary measure as well but doesn't usually have major incidents. Cox said most of the time Imperial graduates leave town for celebrations.

El Centro high schools had their graduations Wednesday night and police Lt. Tim Blankenship said no incidents were reported to police.

Calipatria High had its graduation last week. Calipatria Police Chief Reggie Gomez said police had no incidents reported related to graduates.

Holtville police said they don't plan on having extra units on duty in connection with tonight's Holtville High graduation.

>>Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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