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Girl Scouts put in jail

Janine Marnien

LA CRESCENTA -- “Ladies, this is the sound of state prison,” Deputy

Dan Connolly said to Girl Scout Troop 37, as he slammed the door of a

jail cell at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station with a resounding

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thud.

The girls, 9 to 10 years old, found themselves temporarily locked

inside the cell as part of a tour given by the station to teach local

children about safety.

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“It’s a positive tour,” Connolly said. “The kids seem to love it.”

Connolly has been giving the tours at the station for 15 years. He

estimates that he gives two a week on average, and has spoken to more

than 5,000 kids in the time he’s been the station’s tour guide.

Tours start out with Danger Stranger, a program that teaches the

children to say no to requests from strangers to accompany them

somewhere. It also teaches them how to say no, and what constitutes a

stranger.

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Then it’s off for a tour around the station, which includes a meeting

with a jail ward and a chance to sit in a patrol car and turn on the

siren and use the radio.

Some of the girls of Troop 37 said they were enjoying the tour, and

were excited about seeing the jail.

“I thought it was neat because I’ve never been in a jail before,” Kira

Ramani, 9, said.

The girls were brought on the tour after Assistant Troop Leader Kathy

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Hernandez saw the tour while her son was a Boy Scout.

“I knew it was a good tour, and the girls are the right age to absorb

some of the information,” she said.

Tours are given on an ongoing basis. If you wish to schedule a tour,

you should make an appointment about two weeks in advance. Tours last

about 1 1/2 hours and are given to groups of five to 20 children. For

more information on the tours, call 248-3464 and ask for Deputy Dan

Connolly.


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