See our print or online editions for two pages of color photos from this year's prom.
A lot of fun, no problems at Pickens prom. Sheriff says students keep things low-key as they have come to expect heavy police presence on roads during prom weekend. Photos courtesy Pickens Draca Yearbook
This year’s prom was without incident or arrest even with the nasty weather for students on the roads – continuing a streak of several years of safe high school festivities.
Sheriff Donnie Craig, whose office is over the campus resource officers, said he was not aware of any wrecks or arrests involving high school students.
Craig attributed the lack of problems to students coming to expect law enforcement will be out in force that night.
“Every year they know we are out there,” he said. “So anything they are doing, they are staying off the road. Anything going on is low-key.”
The sheriff emphasized that he in no way condones any underage drinking at after-prom parties, whether on the road or not.
“It’s not okay for underage people to drink [in any situation], but we have a reputation of having a presence on the roads prom night.”
In addition to regular patrols, the sheriff’s office arranged eight HEAT patrols concentrated around Jasper on Saturday. Sheriff Craig said part of the statewide HEAT program allows any county to call upon officers from other jurisdictions for special events. Pickens County has two of the special DUI prevention HEAT units and arranged for six others units to help on Saturday night. Two units came from each of the following areas: Douglas County, Habersham County and Sandy Springs Police.
The statewide HEAT grant which supplies the cars and officers fosters this multi-district cooperation without requiring agencies to pay anything extra for additional help.
“Through the HEAT program, the only thing we spent for the other units was I bought the officers dinner,” Craig said.
The sheriff’s office had originally planned road checks near Chattahoochee Tech where the prom was held but scaled back to heavy patrols as weather conditions were miserable.
See also, Pickens Draca Yearbook on Facebook for photos.