As chief law officer devoted to protecting and serving the public, Leone shared personal stories of tragedy laced with humor to drive his point home. When bad decisions and bad choices are made, he said, there will be tragic consequences. In a nutshell, he emphasized, when bad decisions are made then death is an “erie, tragic, morbid inevitability.” In order for prom night to be safe and successful, students must purpose to make good decisions, not compound bad ones, he added.
According to Leone, car crashes are the number one killer for 15-20 year-olds with the number of accident related deaths increasing in the spring during prom and graduation season.
Leone discussed the use of marijuana, stating that it is “unsafe, unhealthy and illegal.”
The use of alcohol and other drugs, which are mind and mood altering substances, is abuse," he said. "The drug business is a cash and carry one."
Leone added that marijuana is nine times more potent today than it was thirty years ago when he was in high school.
The students were encouraged to thwart temptations to partake in drug abuse and to enjoy an excellent four years, and not have them cut short by tragedy. Leone encouraged the bleachers full of prom goers to show courage and leadership in their decisions. As high school comes to a close, it marks an ending as well as a new beginning, he said, adding that these will be happy occasions if good decisions are made.
Police Chief Leonard echoed much of Leone’s sentiments and challenged students to “make promises to yourself, your parents, your friends and your teachers.”
He encouraged them to be true their decisions and stick to them, even if they are unpopular. In a final note, Chief Leonard told the students that he did not “want to read their names in the police log or in the newspaper.”
As students prepare for prom night tonight, they do so with the knowledge that the decisions they make could save their life or someone else’s. Tragic consequences are preventable.