On July 21st, Burbank City Council and Burbank Unified School District held their annual joint meeting.
At the meeting, Burbank Police Department gave updates regarding new safe driving initiatives and school safety resources.
Since the fatal traffic accident that took the lives of three young people in August of 2021, traffic safety in Burbank has been a top concern of residents and BPD.
In response to the tragic event, the police department partnered with BUSD to create a program that would educate young people about safe driving. The program, named “Mindfulness for Young Drivers,” aims to teach teens proper driving safety before they receive their driver’s licenses.
“Mindfulness for Young Drivers” was launched during the 2022 spring semester and specifically targeted 9th graders taking Health class. From March to April, 1,300 freshmen students from both BHS and JBHS were given a driver’s safety course that sought to emphasize “the 3 E’s”: enforcement, education and engineering. The program consisted of lectures, discussions and Q&A’s about topics ranging from distracted driving to unsafe driving behaviors.
After the program concluded, it was given praise for it’s novelty in approaching the subject of driving safety without attempting to scare teens. Several private schools in Burbank indicated that they would like to see the program at their respective schools.
Following the presentation on driving safety, BPD gave an update regarding school safety measures. Within the presentation, it was emphasized that the police have many options in dealing with issues at schools. One of the key resources is the Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET), which is a team that co-responds to calls with the police.
During the presentation, representatives from BPD labeled the police response to the Uvalde school shooting a “failure” and iterated that BPD has a plan-of-action for school shootings.
A video recording of the meeting and a copy of the meetings agenda can be found here.