Voices, a Podcast from the Seneca Valley School District

Episode 53 - Good to Know: Safety and Security Information with Officer Abigail Evans

December 14, 2021 Seneca Valley School District Season 2 Episode 53
Voices, a Podcast from the Seneca Valley School District
Episode 53 - Good to Know: Safety and Security Information with Officer Abigail Evans
Show Notes Transcript

Good to Know: Safety and Security Information with Officer Abigail Evans

Officer Abigail Evans, Jackson Township Police Officer

Abigail Evans is currently serving as a patrol officer with Jackson Township Police  Department. Formerly, she was an officer for Evans City/ Seven Fields Police Department. Officer Evans has a Bachelor of Science from Point Park University and is a graduate of the Allegheny County Police Training Academy.

• How to have a conversation with teen drivers about safety, being prepared and slowing down, especially in the winter weather months
• What areas of concern this role sees with children/teens and drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors
• How this role assists the community with various safety-related matters


 E53 Abigail Evans

File Name: Voices E53 Abigail Evans.mp3

File Length: 00:10:41

FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)


00:00:02:27 - 00:00:10:06

Introduction: Welcome to Voices, a National Award-winning podcast brought to you by the Seneca Valley School District. 


00:00:11:13 - 00:00:24:12

Jeff Krakoff: This is Jeff Krakoff. Today we're going to talk about some things good to know about safety and security. We're going to get some updates with Abigail Evans, who's a police officer with Jackson Township. Thanks for joining us today. 


00:00:25:04 - 00:00:26:05

Abigail Evans: Thank you for having me. 


00:00:26:11 - 00:00:34:05

Jeff Krakoff: So, Abigail, why don't you talk a little bit about your background where you studied your background in law enforcement, bringing us up to today? 


00:00:35:06 - 00:00:59:12

Abigail Evans: Sure. I went to college actually at Point Park University. I have my bachelor's from there with criminal justice as my focus and then intelligence, national security, as well as a focus in my career. I went to the Allegheny County Police Training Academy, graduated this past January from there. And now I am at Jackson Township. 


00:01:00:03 - 00:01:06:13

Jeff Krakoff: OK. So can you walk us through what a typical day looks like at Jackson Township? 


00:01:08:03 - 00:01:32:29

Abigail Evans: For the most part. It's in a way quieter than other places, but it's as busy as you want it to be. So with me, I'm pretty proactive going out and running traffic, usually at the start of my shift. After reading through reports and all the other paperwork that I've missed out on while I was off. And then I'll run traffic and essentially from there, you never know what the day will hold. 


00:01:33:14 - 00:01:33:29

Jeff Krakoff: OK.


00:01:34:02 - 00:01:38:13

Abigail Evans: Either very busy or just basic traffic stops. 


00:01:38:27 - 00:01:45:12

Jeff Krakoff: All right, so let's talk a little bit about your involvement with Seneca Valley School District. Tell us kind of how that works. 


00:01:46:09 - 00:02:20:00

Abigail Evans: So Seneca Valley actually has two of our officers employed there. Officer McGee and Officer Miller, they're both student resource officers and at the school, while school is in session the whole year. I filled in while Officer Miller was out on training for a week. And we have officers fill in sporadically whenever either of them are either on training or other time off. But we're very involved we're at football games, basketball games help with traffic control. They need us essentially we do whatever we can to better assist the school. 


00:02:20:15 - 00:02:43:16

Jeff Krakoff: OK. You mentioned traffic a couple of times, so we know that near bus stops, people get antsy when people are speeding down the streets or or by the schools. Can you give us some tips for parents to have conversations with their teenage drivers about being a better driver, you know, especially as we're starting to get into some potential bad weather? 


00:02:44:12 - 00:03:16:24

Abigail Evans: Oh yeah, that's also a touchy subject for some students because I've been in high school before. You're never wrong, but parents are just looking out for the best for their kids and all the other students. Traffic is a big issue when it comes to young drivers as well. I know speeding is probably top of the charts with that, I would say. We have a lot of complaints, especially around the time school lets out of speeding through neighborhoods. Posted speed limit signs are there for a reason. 


00:03:17:10 - 00:03:42:27

Abigail Evans: Either the road, how it's structured, the kind of road it is, it's all there for a reason. We have a lot of speeding complaints. It's not a wise decision to do that, especially around this area with all the winding roads that will turn from asphalt to gravel to dirt on some of the roads. Just got to be much, much more careful with that, especially those student drivers. 


00:03:43:24 - 00:03:46:17

Jeff Krakoff: It's probably something they don't think about a lot, but 


00:03:47:19 - 00:03:52:24

Abigail Evans: the texture of the road especially can be a big contributing factor to crashes. 


00:03:53:09 - 00:04:03:28

Jeff Krakoff: OK. So outside of driving and traffic, what are some of the other areas of concerns that you see for children and teenagers, young adults?  


00:04:04:18 - 00:04:39:19

Abigail Evans: One of my biggest concerns I have seen is under aging. So the United States, you can't consume alcohol under the age of 21, yet it is done. But it is a huge safety precaution. I've been to multiple incidents so far with under aging. Everyone's been in high school, but they have to think of the future with that. They don't know that this one time you're out at a party, it could deter you from going to college, getting scholarships could deter you from having your license dependent on if you drink and drive. 


00:04:40:10 - 00:05:18:03

Abigail Evans: It's set for 21 years of 21 years of age for a specific reason with that. That's the way the United States has it - other countries are different. Kids try to justify that, but that is one of the biggest concerns. Also, as many other people now, I would say one of the top concerns that I have noticed are vape pens dependening on if they have THC or CBD and as well as juuls, which are one pot is about equivalent to 20 cigarettes, just essentially a whole pack that a lot of kids don't realize when they start and wonder why they can't stop smoking. 


00:05:19:08 - 00:05:35:11

Abigail Evans: So I think they just have to be more aware of all of it, especially too if they're combining certain vapes that do have those THC and CBD. That's when we get issues as well with them driving. Because that could also lead into multiple safety concerns in driving. 


00:05:36:00 - 00:05:40:15

Jeff Krakoff: OK, so this is something that parents really need to talk to their kids about. 


00:05:40:23 - 00:05:41:08

Abigail Evans: Oh yeah. 


00:05:41:27 - 00:05:48:11

Jeff Krakoff: Maybe some uncomfortable conversations. Any suggestions on how to bring up the topic of drinking and drugs? 


00:05:48:29 - 00:06:02:00

Abigail Evans: You could just do it generally by talking about the school as a whole if they have heard of it being an issue with other people. And then kids aren't always truthful, but we've all been there with all. 


00:06:03:24 - 00:06:06:00

Abigail Evans: Let's say improve the truth on it, a 


00:06:06:14 - 00:06:08:09

Jeff Krakoff: little bit of embellishment when you're younger 


00:06:09:00 - 00:06:42:23

Abigail Evans: But you just have to be careful with that because you never know right now that they just changed it back to being twenty one to buy tobacco products. So you have kids still paying off other people to go in and purchase tobacco products that they now can't purchase. When it used to be 18 until I believe last year they changed it back to 21. But that's very difficult of a conversation to have. I would say if there's news articles about it, anything else that's an easy way to bring it up to a child is talking about that news article, how they feel. 


00:06:43:12 - 00:07:05:23

Abigail Evans: And then you could put in your suggestion with that instead of saying kind of putting the blame game on it, knowing you did that, you did this, you could talk about it generally and then specify it down to maybe you shouldn't do that because of these health factors, because of this is the law you're technically breaking it purchasing that even if you're purchasing it via third party.


00:07:06:01 - 00:07:17:06

Jeff Krakoff: Right. Yeah, probably a week or a month doesn't go by when somebody somewhere is in the news for breaking the law, but having dire, dire consequences for for young people 


00:07:18:18 - 00:07:54:26

Abigail Evans: Especially on school campuses. A lot of people don't realize that certain vapes, you can't even have on school property, if not all vapes. I know there's a big sign when you come in. No tobacco products on school grounds. You can't also have certain vapes that have that THC and CBD because that just elevates it because you are on school grounds, the punishment and the grading, it's very extensive with that. Kids don't think through all of the gradings of certain offences, even all the offenses that happen on school grounds. 


00:07:55:05 - 00:08:06:01

Abigail Evans: Some of them go criminal and they don't understand the grading involved with it. And the more times it happens, less lenient magistrates go with it. 


00:08:06:17 - 00:08:16:13

Jeff Krakoff: Okay, so how else do you work with the community, especially the Seneca Valley community, to assist them in various safety-related matters and issues? 


00:08:17:05 - 00:08:56:29

Abigail Evans: We actually have a lot of phone call requests to residents within our jurisdiction alone just for health and safety. If they come across something, we're always here to answer questions we might not answer our office spends all the time if we're out on the street, but if anyone leaves a voicemail, we're happy to answer them. Also going to specialized trainings, we have to go to so many trainings a year. Specialized trainings, especially the community-oriented, is one of the big factors that I enjoy personally. I know some of the other guys here are also greatly enjoy going to those in just better understanding teenagers nowadays versus teenagers, even two years ago, five years ago and so forth. 


00:08:57:01 - 00:09:22:26

Abigail Evans: Everything's changing. The whole motives of their own reasoning behind why they're doing the new fad. It's always changing. So walking around the school, I'll go to the school. Sometimes when I used to be an Evans City I would go there and play kickball with all the kids just kind of putting the presence out there. So the police aren't someone to be afraid of more so someone there to help you. 


00:09:23:15 - 00:09:27:09

Jeff Krakoff: Okay, Abigail, how about social media? What are some things to watch out for? 


00:09:27:21 - 00:10:03:20

Abigail Evans: Social media is very dangerous. I will be very upfront with that. One of the biggest things I find is, if you have it, it is misused a lot. By that, I mean, people keep everything open to the public eye. You can find almost anything you want by just searching someone's name and the area they live in. And also, I know people don't read it, they just click right through those terms and conditions. But it's not a bad thing to read because if you actually read parts of those, you can see that stuff you might delete on social media doesn't actually delete. 


00:10:04:03 - 00:10:22:14

Abigail Evans: It's still out there. So people posted it's bound to get out, so you have to be very careful. Even certain background checks for careers in the future, they'll look at past social media and depending on how long they keep anything uploaded or even if they delete it, it's still within the software


00:10:23:00 - 00:10:36:20

Jeff Krakoff: Right. All right. Well, this is all great information. I want to thank you for taking time with us again. This was Abigail Evans is a police officer in Jackson Township. Thanks again and have a great day. 


00:10:37:05 - 00:10:37:25

Abigail Evans: Thank you.