The Douglasville City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Monday night that encourages residents to notify the Douglasville Police Department when a party with 10 or more people in attendance will be taking place in the city. Douglas County delegation members will now introduce the resolution to the Georgia General Assembly during the 2012 legislative session.
The idea was proposed by Monique Rivarde, whose teenage son, Bobby Tillman, was killed at a party in Douglas County in 2010. After the vote, Rivarde, who was accompanied by her daughter, Fashionee Jones, and a group of teenagers from Chapel Hill and Lithia Springs High Schools, thanked city council members for their support.
“We just want to make our teens safe. I don’t want another child to go through what Bobby did,” she said.
State Representative Roger Bruce was also in attendance and praised the council for its decision, calling it a step in the right direction for identifying and preventing teen violence.
Other Douglasville residents came forward to speak out against the measure, calling it unnecessary and an invasion of privacy, and insisting it would just take resources away from other serious crimes happening in the community.
“I really feel like what goes on in my home is really my business. I shouldn’t have to notify our government when I’m having a barbecue in my backyard,” said James Bell of Lithia Springs.
Douglasville resident James Quarterman said, “I think we’re acting prematurely. We can’t go around enacting laws every time someone dies.”
After the meeting, Rivarde reinforced the idea that her goal with the resolution was simply to keep kids safe. “It’s not just for Bobby; it’s for all teens. I encourage people to read the resolution first,” she said, pointing out that it is “simply a request, not an ordinance” and that it is aimed towards parties for teenagers, not adults.