Operation Click, Operation Cool before 2007, started in Crystal Lake as a joint project between the police department and the high school district.
The goal was to stop car accident deaths of teenagers.
Inducements were large and small.
The large one was a free car, drawn at random from among high schoolers who signed a safe driving pledge.
The small ones were given out when police officers stopped a car and found a teen wearing a seat belt.
Now Crystal Lake High School District 155 and the Crystal Lake Police Department have decided to drop out.
They have apparently decided to re-create the wheel, but with a broader scope.
I missed last year’s award ceremony (and maybe the one the year before that), but in 2011 the dangers of texting while driving were emphasized.
This year the danger of taking opioids will be the featured topic.
Crystal Lake Police Office Sean McGrath was the spark plug behind the program.
He tells me that South High School was suspended from Operation Click for a year because of an ineffective program.
Now, the high school district and the police department are trying to create a new program, according to Distict 155’a Shannon Podzimek:
“The district’s school resource officers and students are working to create a safe driving program that fits the needs of our D155 students and community.
“The goal of the program is to be a student lead initiative.
“The district has partnered with the Crystal Lake Police Department and the Cary Police Department.
“We believe that this partnership will allow us to implement a comprehensive driver safety program.
“The program will focus on seat belt use, graduated driving license compliance, impaired driving education, use of electronic communication, and speeding. Our student resource officers will continue to work with building administrators and students in the promotion of the program.
We are excited about this opportunity and we continue to look for community support for this new program.”
“We were surprised when the Crystal Lake Police Department and District 155 decided to start their own program.
“We were told by the police chief and the superintendent that Operation Click was a program that focused on ‘seat belts only.’
“I know the Police Chief and Superintendent have been to the banquets and have seen what Operation Click is about and what our students are doing with this peer to peer program.”
This is on the organization’s web site:
Operation Click is a student driven program, you control this program. Each school is required to set up a student committee to drive this program in their school.
“The committees are responsible for encouraging students to sign contracts, organize events in the school to promote safe driving, and rewarding students for safe driving.
“Without student leaders, this program would not be able to function in the way it does. Go get involved, become a leader and help save lives while doing it!”
Moreover, Operation Click has gained sponsorship of the AAA Auto Insurance Company.
AAA provides $1,000 per school ($2,000 for large schools).
When asked how much District 155 has budgeted, this was the reply:
“At this time, no money has been spent on staff, advertising, materials, or prizes for the program, as we are still in the planning stages.
“The district plans to partner with outside groups to provide funding to support the program.”
This Thurday, April 13, three cars will be awarded at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn for McHenry, Lake, and Kane County schools.
Four more will be awarded at subsequent events:
- April 20 in Janesville, Wisconsin for the Green and Rock County schools – two cars awarded
- April 21 Delavan for the Walworth County schools. One car awarded
- April 28 Jefferson and Waukesha County schools. One car awarded
Operation Click is an all-volunteer organization; no one is paid.