Back-To-School Safety

On Thursday, the children of our parish and the City of Ponchatoula will be returning to school. Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson would like to offer the following safety reminders for parents, students and the general public to help make this school year safe.

Bus Safety
An adult should wait with children until the bus arrives. Take turns with other parents monitoring the bus stop before and after school.
Remind children to stand far away from the road while waiting for the bus.
Wait for the bus and all vehicles to stop completely before boarding and exiting the bus.
Remind children not to play on the bus or while waiting at the bus stop.
Tell children not to approach cars asking for directions or offering rides to school.

School Safety
Teach young children their address, phone number and parents full name.
Go over ‘Stranger Danger’ with your children. Make sure they understand what a stranger is and what to do if approached.
Review the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Go over bullying with your children. Teach them how to handle being bullied and that you will not tolerate your child bullying others.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, always walk FACING traffic.
Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
Walk in groups, there is safety in numbers.
Groups are more likely to be seen by drivers.
Before crossing the street, stop and look left, then right, then left again.

Reminders for Motorists
Be on the lookout for children walking to school, boarding and exiting school buses and crossing at crosswalks.
Remember, it is against the law to pass a stopped school bus.
It is required that you follow the posted school zone speed limit during the times listed.
Be especially careful when driving on neighborhood streets
and around school zones. Always expect the unexpected.

** School Zone Cell Phone Ban: Motorists are now prohibited from using any type of hand held wireless communications device while traveling through schools zones during posted hours. The law includes use of a cellular/wireless device for engaging in a voice call, accessing, reading, or posting to a social networking site, and/or writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication. The school zone cell phone ban does not apply if the device is being used to report an emergency, is being used in a hands-free manner, or while the vehicle is lawfully parked. Upon first violation of the school zone ban the fine is $175, subsequent violations can be up to $500, and if a crash occurs during the time of the violation, fines can be increased.**
The Ponchatoula Police Department will have an officer at each school during the first several days of the school year to assist with traffic control and assist the public. The Ponchatoula Police Department has a full-time School Resource Officer, Det Reggie Bryant. If you have any questions or concerns, Det Bryant can be reached at (985)-370-0651 or at
Chief Layrisson would like to wish all of the kids and educators a safe and happy school year.

Ponchatoula Police capture burglary suspects

Ponchatoula Police capture burglary suspects -

Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson reports that Ponchy Police have captured two burglary suspects from Saturday evening.

Liana Marie Stanga, age 25 of Ponchatoula, and Robert Andrew Yates, age 31 of Tin Can Alley in Tickfaw, were both arrested and charged with Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling and Criminal Damage.

On the evening of Saturday, August 23, Ponchatoula police responded to a residential burglary at the 700 block of East Pine St.

On the scene, officers learned from witnesses that a white vehicle with a busted windshield was seen at the residence.

The neighbors said they witnessed the male and female near the residence, so officers began to patrol the area immediately. Officers quickly spotted the vehicle matching the description parked a few blocks away.

The vehicle was occupied by Stanga and Yates, who were standing near the vehicle when officers arrived. Both were detained, and advised of the reason for the stop. Stanga admitted that she and Yates burglarized the residence, and that all stolen property was in the trunk. Officers received permission to search the car, and located all the stolen items.

Stanga and Yates were arrested and charged, then transported to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

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