Upperclassmen Learn About Staying Safe at Gasparilla

January 17, 2018


“My overall take away was to make good decisions because my future could be taken away in a split second if something were to go wrong,” says Claire Obeck (’18). Photo Credit: Sam Garateix/ Achona Online

On Friday, Jan. 12 Tampa Police Department Officer Shaun visited Academy to speak to the upperclassmen about the history of Gasparilla and how to stay safe. Some of the most common issues that Tampa Police Department faces on Gasparilla are underage drinking, fighting, public indecency, and open containers outside of the wet zone.

Over the past ten years, Tampa Police Department has worked diligently to bring Gasparilla back to its original purpose, to be a family-friendly event that brings the community together.

Nina Alberdi (’18), Bella Kirkpatrick (’18), Amber Pedregal (’18), and Gretchen Swenson (’18) help Officer Shaun hand out beads to students. Photo Credit: Sam Garateix/ AchonaOnline

“I feel like we are sometimes so oblivious to the protection they provide”, says Claire Obeck (‘18).

Total Arrests over the past ten years:

2007: 166

2008: 103

2009: 127

2010: 415

2011: 334

2012: 365

2013: 146

2014: 109

2015: 29

2016: 26

2017: 15

Gasparilla Arrest 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total Arrest/ Citations 415 334 365 204 109 29 26 15
Alcohol Arrest 367 277 310 136 73 15 7 9
Under Age Drinking 9 43 27 32 12 1 3 1
Quality of Life Arrest 39 14 28 36 24 13 16 5

The state of Florida has an open container law, which means that in the state of Florida, “It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this section for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while operating a vehicle in the state or while a passenger in or on a vehicle being operated in the state.” As a result of this law adults who are in possession of an open container will receive a citation for each offense.

“The high presence of the TPD at the parade will really enforce safety as he said in the assembly, which helps make gaspy more of a family safe event,” says Allie Kimpland (’18). Photo Credit: Sam Garateix/Achona Online

Tampa Police Department hopes to keep the number of arrests and citations at a decreasing rate from past years. TPD will be enforcing fines for drinking in public for adults. For the first offense the fine is $75.00, second offense is $150.00, third offense is $300.00, and fourth offense is $450.00. After this, adults who are found in violation of drinking in public will be placed in jail. 

Officer Shaun wanted to ensure that Academy students understood that if they violate any of these laws they will be taken to jail and spend at least 12 hours in a holding cell. Academy upperclassmen seemed to respond positively to the presentation given by Officer Shaun.  Allie Kimpland (‘18) says, “I think the most important part of the assembly was that they [Tampa Police Department] really put an emphasis on how strict they will be on underage drinking.”

“What stuck with me the most was that he (Officer Shaun) and the rest of his unit plan for this event so far in advance in order to make sure we all stay safe,” says Obeck.

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