Police presence near GAR High School hopes to deter students’ bad behavior

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — People who live in a Wilkes-Barre neighborhood say they want something done about problems they say are caused by “out of control students.”

This comes one day after similar concerns were expressed by people who live near Hazleton Area High School.

Thursday, Lead I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick visited Lehigh Street near GAR High School in the Heights section of Wilkes-Barre.

People in the neighborhood reached out to Eyewitness News after seeing our report regarding similar troubles in Hazleton.

A Wilkes-Barre police SUV can be seen outside GAR High School Thursday afternoon before students are dismissed.

Wilkes-Barre Police say they have the situation under control.

A Wilkes-Barre police officer keeps a close watch on students leaving GAR High School Thursday afternoon, another cruiser drives by the school, all of this is the result of an ongoing effort they say is to prevent trouble.

“We try to work with the school resource officer, our officers go up there at the end of school and float around the area as a preventative measure,” said Officer Kirk Merchel, WBPD Community Policing Officer.

Neighbors reached out to Eyewitness News after seeing our report about students causing trouble near the Hazleton Area High School and the increased police presence in recent days.

They say they have seen the same kind of thing in their neighborhood, fights and property damage.

Officer Kirk Merchel advises students, “If you’re going throughout the neighborhood respect the neighborhood respect the neighbors. It’s alright if kids want to hang around after school but be respectful of other people’s property.”

“I think it has calmed down,” said Teresa Buckley of Wilkes-Barre.

“They see a police car some respect them and some don’t but think it’s getting better,” said George Buckley of Wilkes-Barre.

Wilkes-Barre school officials say they work with Wilkes-Barre Police to try to head off problems. They too urge their students to have respect for the neighbors.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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