Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Unsupervised children raise concern for base

By Scott Prater

Schriever Sentinel

As the base housing area enters its second year of operation here at Schriever, families are truly experiencing life in a military community. A new community center and pool have added a neighborhood feel to the area, while a youth sports complex, complete with soccer fields, basketball courts and a baseball complex is currently under construction.

Long summer days present children with lots of time and a warm climate in which to spend their carefree days.

A playground outside the community center provides a place for youngsters to run off steam, exercise and make friends as well, but as the base housing area continues to fill up with families, the need to follow safety and supervision guidelines becomes even more important.

During the past few months, personnel at Tierra Vista, the base’s housing-area management company, continue to field complaints from parents in the area concerning unsupervised children at the area’s parks and playgrounds.

“We hear reports on a daily basis,” said Heidi Vollstedt, resident services coordinator for Tierra Vista here. “Residents are seeing unsupervised children at the parks and throughout the community, including children riding bicycles and playing outside in the middle of the street.”

These aren’t isolated incidents. Ms. Vollstedt says the problem of unsupervised children continues to grow as more families move into the housing area.

“It is common, all day, everyday during this time of year as children are on summer vacation,” Ms. Vollstedt said.

The 50th Force Support Squadron has issued guidelines for parents to follow regarding supervision of children of all ages and parents are expected to abide by these guidelines without exception.

Children ages 4 and younger are never to be left unattended outside and parents must stay within site or hearing distance of children ages 5 to 6 while they are outside. Children ages 7 to 9 must have access to adult assistance at all times.

50th Security Forces Squadron officers will respond to incidents where children are lost or are left unattended in vehicles.

“Our focus is for the safety and well being of children,” said 50 SFS commander, Lt. Col. Vincent Fisher. “We’re asking parents to observe these guidelines and do their part to keep our kids safe.”

Parents searching for fun and interesting things for their children to do, especially during the summer months, can contact the Schriever Youth Sports program at 567-4501.

Those in need of childcare options can contact the Child Development Center at 567-4742.

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