Posted by Alora Wachholz on Apr 24, 2014
Tags: Community, Public Safety, TCPD, Town News

UPDATE (Friday, May 2, 2014) --- Trophy Club Works With "Fugitive" Organizers to Ensure Community Safety

On Thursday evening, Commander Lee Delk with the Trophy Club Police Department (TCPD) met with an organizer of “Fugitive” and discussed several issues in regards to playing Fugitive in Trophy Club. The positive meeting resulted in mutual agreement of the rules and possible negative implications if the rules are not followed. The players must stay off private property, including Trophy Club Country Club property, and stay out of parks an hour past sunset.

The Town’s primary concern is for the health, safety and welfare of both the Trophy Club residents and the Fugitive players. TCPD will continue to work and communicate with all concerned to ensure Trophy Club remains safe, secure and peaceful. 

Authorities will continue to patrol and monitor the community and respond, as necessary, if issues arise. 

According to Wikipedia, the “game of Fugitive combines elements of a number of outdoor games such as capture the flag, tag, and hide-and-go-seek. In Fugitive, players divide into two teams with each team playing the part of either the ‘fugitives’ or the ‘police.’” It further notes that the “fugitives” objective is to run from a starting point to a finishing point without being tagged by the “police.” They are given a several minute head start.

This “game,” which originated in California, normally includes high school upper classmen, occurs at night, and apparently has no rules as to the route taken by either the individuals being chased or the pursuers. Social media sites are used to organize the game which can have more than 20 participants at a time. A review of contemporary information regarding the game disclosed that it can be quite dangerous for participants. A Google search will show that injuries and deaths have occurred as a result of this activity. 

In Trophy Club, the community has experienced sporadic playings of this “game” over the past few years. Spring-like weather seems to make it more attractive to those involved and there have been at least two nights recently when the game was afoot. Unfortunately, the lack of rules has resulted in numerous calls from concerned residents about noise, suspicious persons, trespassing on private property, and criminal mischief. Through TCPD's community policing efforts, the officers have developed a good relationship with the youth in the community; however, safety and the right of residents to feel secure in their homes are a priority for the Department.

Officers have identified some of the participants in this “game” and intend to reach out to those young people and their parents, as well as NISD and the Town Parks Department, to see if there is something that can be developed to preserve peace in the neighborhoods, as well provide a safe, stable outlet for the seemingly boundless energy with which the young are blessed.

However, it must be said that trespassing on and damaging private property are not acceptable outlets for this energy. Community policing provides many tools that enable TCPD to work with the community to solve problems, but sometimes the only thing that will ensure compliance is enforcement and officers are developing tactics to respond to continued complaints if the outreach efforts do not bear fruit. 

Residents who see suspicious activity on or around their private property are encouraged to call 911 immediately.