City Of Columbus Reenacts Curfew

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Tonight, the City of Columbus begins enforcing its curfew. Last year, about 60 teens were picked up for violating the city’s curfew ordinance. This year, there are a few changes. WOSU’s Kim Fox reports.

COLEMAN: “As mayor I want our young people to have fun this summer, but most of all I want them to be safe.”

Mayor Michael Coleman views safety as paramount, as it was last year. But with revenues down this year, city officials say they cannot spend $75,000 for an intake at the YMCA. Instead, they are collaborating with Franklin County Children’s Services which already has an intake center.

Enforcement will also be different this year says Coleman, “what we’re doing this year is we’re writing them a ticket and we’re taking them home and then if their parents aren’t home, then we take them to Children’s Services”.

After receiving the summons, teens who violate the city curfew will have to appear in court. Last year, officers took the curfew violators to the YMCA. Coleman says the word spread quickly last summer that the city’s then dormant curfew law would be enforced. He also sees a direct connection between curfew enforcement and a decrease in crimes. “What we noted in last year’s crime statistics is that there was a decrease in aggravated assault during the summer. There was a felony and larceny decrease. There were several areas of decrease of violent crimes in our city.”

The curfew requires children under age 13 to be off the streets one hour after sunset and teens age 13-17 must be in by midnight. A curfew violation is a third degree misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500 and/or 60 days in jail for the violator.

It will be enforced seven days a week, not just Thursday through Saturday like last year.

The focus will be on the summer months. Though city and county officials have not decided if the partnership will continue after that.

Kim Fox, WOSU News.