School is officially back in session and the Pima County Sheriff's Department would like to re-assure all parents that the Sheriff's Department will be working diligently to keep your little ones safe on their journey to and from school.
"We encourage parents to speak with their children about the following," said Deputy Dawn Barkman, the department's public information officer.
• Know the routes your children take. Choose the safest way with the most direct route and fewest street crossings.
• Instruct them to travel with others. Traveling in groups of two or more will discourage strangers from approaching.
• DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS! Tell your children to stay away from strangers, and strange vehicles. NEVER ever get into anyone's vehicle you do not know.
• Cross the street at intersections only and follow instruction of school crossing guards.
• Don't assume every vehicle is going to see you or stop. Use caution even when you have the right-of-way.
• Remind your children to keep you informed about their whereabouts. They should remain focused when going home. Children can get distracted on the way home from school and end up at a friend's house without telling a parent.
• Report any suspicious activity immediately. If children are approached by a stranger or witness suspicious activity, report it to your school and to law enforcement by dialing 911. Try to remember details like what the stranger looked like and what they were wearing.
"Let's all work together in making your children's school year a safe one," said Barkman.