Rockbridge County deputies show parents what kids might be hiding in plain sight

Published: Mar. 23, 2017 at 6:40 PM EDT
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You don’t often see sheriff’s deputies recreating the chaos of a teenager’s room. Especially with things like a simulated gun.

But that was just to be obvious. What they really want you to find are the subtler things, like the combination of candy, Sprite and cough syrup, which can be used to get the alcohol out of the medicine.

“Got a bottle of alcohol," said Deputy Chris Norris of the Rockbridge Sheriff’s Office, as he pulls objects hidden inside the plush toy. "Got a smoking device.”

It’s a program called “Hidden in Plain Sight,” to help parents see things they might miss.

“I was very surprised.”

Even when parents like Amy Moore were invited to go through the room, they found things they had missed.

“I flipped through this book," Moore said, while holding a large dictionary with a hiding space cut out of the pages inside. "And another parent said, open it, and all of a sudden there was a compartment in it. And I flipped it and didn’t see anything prior.”

“Just glancing over it, you wouldn’t think there would be anything wrong in the room," Norris said. "But that’s why we try to tell parents: if the kid lives in your house, you have every right to go through their stuff.”

But, they say, the most important thing is not how you search.

“Communicate with the child," Deputy Mike Cash said. "Talk to them about what’s going on. They’ll tell you stuff. Children will tell you stuff. You just have to communicate.”

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