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Rincon chief hopes program has an impact
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For those young drivers who think it won’t happen to them, Rincon Police Chief Phillip Scholl has a message.

Chief Scholl and the Rincon Police Department are holding a Teen Victim Impact Program on Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. The program will be held at the Rincon Police Department.

“I want this room packed,” the chief said. “Other chiefs said many of their people are going to be here. We’re going to have a good crowd for that first one.”

As part of the sentencing, teen traffic violators are sent to the program.

The Teen Victim Impact Program was created to give judges another avenue aside from fines and probation. Created in 2006, it is now in use in 13 court systems, serving more than 70 courts. The program consists of stories of teens killed in car crashes, including what caused the crash and how it could have been prevented. A teen victim of a crash or a family member also discusses their story.

“The presentation is professional,” Scholl said. “The video is tear-jerking and gut-wrenching. It gets the point across.”

Added city attorney Raymond Dickey: “It will make an impact on you.”

The program also has a video on the dangers of texting while driving, the importance of seat belts and a question-and-answer session.

“I’ve had to take those lifeless bodies out of those cars,’ Scholl said. “I can’t transmit those memories to the kids.”

Those mandated to take the course are the only ones who have to pay. They are given a certificate of attendance to take back to the court. Parents and siblings, who don’t have to pay for the program, are encouraged to attend.

The Teen Victim Impact Program was developed as part of the It Won’t Happen to Me initiative, which began in Gwinnett County in 1999.