Kids may see a curfew in Tifton - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kids may see a curfew in Tifton

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The city of Tifton is considering adopting a stricter curfew to keep kids under the age of 17 off the streets late at night.

City leaders and police officers say its become a problem, and something needs to be done before something happens to one of these children.

On any given night, officer Joseph Ezekiel says its not unusual to see dozens of kids out late at night, unsupervised. "One time at 11 at night, there were two young boys, a 7 and 8 year old. I stopped them asked what they were doing. 'We are just walking,' they said."

City councilman Johnny Terrell has noticed it, too. "Just about any given say you can come out at night and see young children out by themselves," he said.

When one store owner's van windows were shot out, he decided something had to be done. "The young children, they don't do anything. 'I don't go to school,' they just walk around," said Terrell .

Terrell came forth with a recommendation to adopt a stricter curfew because of all the mischievous activity he has witnessed. "Hopefully the council will consider passing the ordinance, we really need the help," he said.

Currently there is an ordinance in place sets a curfew for minors who are under the age of 17 during school hours, but the city is considering an ordinance that would extend the curfew hours for minors into the evening hours.

"We will go to ten o'clock, but if you are out past ten o'clock, we are going to haul you down to the police station and let your parents come get you,"said  Ezekiel.

Police officers agree, something needs to be done to keep these kids out of the streets and out of harm's way. "My grandmother always said there are only two things out in the middle of the night, that was a man or a dog," said Ezekiel.

If the ordinance passes, it would prohibit kids up to the age of 17 from loitering in a public place between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am.

"If it gets ready for someone going to jail, then so be it but we are going to enforce that,"

That means if police officers discover a child out between those hours, the parent will be held responsible.

Officers say first the child will be picked up and either taken home or to the police station until they are picked up by a parent. If it happens again, juvenile court is notified and the parents or guardian will be prosecuted.

The council is expected to vote on the ordinance during its May meeting.

 

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