Leadership outlines standards for behavior

As a result of recent incidents of vandalism and drug use in the KMC, Army and Air Force commanders, school administration and law enforcement officials are increasing education and enforcement efforts.

“Throughout the Air Force, Army and DODDS, we will not tolerate acts of vandalism, drug use or gang-type behavior such as bullying or acts of physical violence,” said Col. Don Bacon, 435th Air Base Wing commander. “We honor our families’ many sacrifices and will work together to continue to provide safe and secure installations and the best schools possible for our children.”

During the holidays, gang-type graffiti was found in several areas of the KMC. Because of a thorough investigation and awareness campaign, the individuals responsible confessed and were disciplined.

“Individuals who are caught causing damage are held accountable for their actions,” said Lt. Col. Mechelle B. Hale, U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern commander. “The military takes any type of deliberate and malicious destruction or defacement of government property very seriously.”

 These recent crimes were committed by military dependents, however, whether done by active-duty members, civilian workers or by military dependents, “we want to be emphatically clear that this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Colonel Bacon said. “While we do not see this as a wide-spread issue, we want to nip this early before it becomes one. These actions are being taken to ensure a few law-breakers do not impact the overall quality of learning and quality of life deserved by all.”

 The awareness campaign also intends to highlight dress code policy in the DODDs schools, which state that gang-related clothing is not allowed.

 “We have a great relationship with the local AF and Army leadership, and we have a common goal … safe schools where our children can learn and prepare for their future in an environment free from drugs, bullying or vandalism,” said Lawanna Mangleburg, DODDs superintendent of schools, Kaiserslautern district. “Recent successes in catching violators of these rules are a testament to the close relationship we have.”

Letters were recently sent to parents and teachers of DODDS students in the KMC. The letter, signed by Ms. Mangleburg, Brig. Gen. Bill Bender, KMC commander, and Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, 21st TSC commander, addresses the recent crime and requests assistance with educating children about drug use and criminal behavior. It also lays out the possible consequences should someone be found guilty of an infraction.

While each case is looked at individually, it does highlight the range of punishments that can come from certain offenses. In the recent graffiti case, two of the individuals were ordered back to the states, and two others were given a significant number of community service hours.

“Every person caught breaking the law will be given due process and fair treatment, but they will also be held fully accountable for their actions,” said Lt. Col. Cynthia Richards, 435th Mission Support Group deputy commander and Civilian and Family Member Misconduct officer.

DODDS leadership has the authority to suspend or expel student violators. Additionally, the Air Force and Army leadership may also bar dependents from entering KMC facilities and may direct Early Return of Dependents to CONUS.
“Unfortunately, we have had to enforce both avenues as the result of the indiscretions carried out by several dependants,” Colonel Richards said. “In order to balance punishment with the willingness to make reparations, we have also started a community service program involving base clean-up in which individuals can earn back privileges when the severity of their indiscretions warrant it.”

In cases of dependents and community service, they will also be joined by one or both of their parents while earning back their privileges. To date, 14 individuals have participated in the clean up/community service detail.
(Courtesy of 435th Air Base Wing Public Affairs)