A discussion to amend the city’s curfew ordinance was held at a meeting of the Evarts City Council.
Mayor Eddie Manning said the curfew is for any person under the age of 18 and is currently from midnight to 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.
Police Chief Lupe Blas said he feels the reason a curfew was set by previous city officials was to ensure children were home and in bed and ready to get up for school on weekdays.
“This curfew was also put in place to keep kids safe,” said Blas. “What I’m recommending is that a fine be imposed on those persons violating the curfew ordinance and requiring that their parents be responsible for the payment of those fines.”
Blas continued by saying he believes by imposing a fine it is one way of “getting parents attention” in seeing that their children are home, safe and prepared to go to school as they are required to do so by law. He added the curfew ordinance currently in place has been a deterrent to crime in the city.
“I think we ought to do this,” said councilman Clark Cusick. “I think it’s a good thing to get these kids in and off the streets late at night.”
Manning agreed saying just recently there was an incident where a juvenile had to be taken home three times in a row at 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
“If council agrees to this the ticket they receive will be payable at city hall,” said Manning. “Kids that are out at 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. aren’t necessarily criminals to say they are going to do something really dangerous, but they do like to vandalize things. Recently a stolen bicycle the police department recovered was taken by two juveniles in the early hours of the morning.”
Councilman Larry Caudill suggested the curfew time be moved up to 11 a.m. He said years ago, people “went to bed at dark and now they tend to stay up later.”
Council members agreed to change the curfew time and impose a fine of $25 for the first offense and $50 for every offense thereafter. City Clerk Kristi Lamb said an amended ordinance will have to be prepared and approved by council at the next meeting in August before any changes will go into effect.