I am writing this letter in response to Lt. Don Engler's concern (heard on KRIM 1/18/05) regarding the increasingly high rate of crime among the youths in Payson. It is not too hard to understand inasmuch as there is little for teenagers to do here in Payson unless they are involved in sports. Unfortunately, not every teen has the talent or commitment.
One of the things teenagers need is a place to "hang out" with their friends one night on the weekend, and that has become more difficult lately with the closing of the batting cages and the bowling alley no longer allowing teenagers on the premises if they are not bowling. Remember, teenagers are not allowed to have a job until the age of 16 and, therefore, their funds are limited. Even in the Valley, I understand there are bowling alleys and other places for teenagers to be with their friends.
Boredom causes teens to get in trouble with the law, unwanted teen pregnancy and the use of drugs. If we don't keep our teens occupied in the hopes of their staying in Payson and raising their families here one day, a lot of retired people will not have anyone to serve them at their favorite restaurant or other places of business.
This is a wake-up call to help our teens and give them a chance to exercise some responsibility by being allowed to socialize with their friends in a safe and supervised location.
Kay Hutchinson, Concerned parent of a teenager