City Commissioner wants to put more teeth in curfew law -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City Commissioner wants to put more teeth in curfew law

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  An Albany Commissioner is taking steps to cut down on violent crimes as serious as the murder on the east side and crimes as simple as vandalism.

Commissioner Christopher Pike will sit down with Albany's Police Chief and Attorney to discuss harsher penalties for those who violate the city's curfew. Police say they're enforcing the law, but it's parents who are not keeping kids indoors. That's why they'll also explore penalizing parents.

Jane Porter and her home schooled 11 year old daughter Jacqueline like to stop in Riverfront Park as often as three times a week for lessons. She doesn't like the graffiti that's recently surfaced.

"It's not good for kids to see stuff like that, that's just gang stuff right there and that's not good," said concerned parent Jane Porter.

Albany City Commissioner Christopher Pike agrees. He blames those under the age of 18 and he wants the city's curfew laws strengthened.

"We need to look at strengthening the curfew ordinance to make sure that our young people are not out on the streets committing crimes and causing havoc," said Albany City Commissioner Christopher Pike.

Right now anyone under 18 must be at home or with a guardian 21 or over after 11:00 PM during the week and after midnight Friday and Saturday. Albany Police are picking up violators, the problem is repeatedly.

"They know the kids, they know the names of kids that we're dealing with repeatedly, so it is a problem," said Albany Police Chief John Proctor.

The commission suggested punishing parents or guardians, with community service or taking violators to the youth detention center instead of home after they've been picked up twice.

"What are we going to do to engage the parents and make sure they're being accountable for their children," said Pike.

Jane Porter hopes the city will take action.

"The kids need to be home before 10:00, I mean they don't need to be outside running the roads and all that, that's just trouble," said Porter.

Putting an end to trouble and graffiti before it escalates into something worse. The commission asked Pike to bring back revisions to the ordinance as early as next month.

As for the graffiti they're working with the county and Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful to get it cleaned up as soon as possible. Commissioner Pike wants businesses to be mindful of the ordinance and not schedule after hour events, keeping those younger than 18 out after hours.

Pike also asked that 911 review the tapes of Riverfront Park in hopes of catching those responsible for the graffiti.

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