Alderman Offers Proposal for Increased Teen Curfew

Crime is on the mind of everyone in Savannah these days.
One Alderman wants to start the crime fighting process at an early age, by keeping teens off the street at night.
As he promised at the last Savannah City Council meeting, Alderman Van Johnson has proposed changing the teen curfew to 9pm at night, 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights.
His plan would also create “youth support centers” to hold kids who were picked up.
“Young people out late at night is bad news,” explains Van Johnson. “Fortunately the summer is gone so we have less incidences. But I think our police have to have the ability to approach young people find out who you are, where you are going, what you are doing over here, involve themselves more in the process.”

Johnson says his proposal is ready for a vote, but has “not” been presented to the full council yet.

He hopes that will happen in the next few weeks.
Here is Full Ordinance with Changes:

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO CITY OF SAVANNAH TEMPORARY CURFEW ORDINANCE

Van R. Johnson, II

ISSUE: To temporarily amend the City of Savannah’s curfew ordinance and create Youth Support Centers designed to safely detain and assess minors until they can be safely returned to their parents or other responsible authority.
CURRENT ORDINANCE: 
Sec. 9-1024. – Curfew. 
(a) It shall be unlawful for any minor 16 years of age or younger to loiter, wander, stroll or play in or upon the public streets, highways, roads, lanes, parks, playgrounds or other public grounds, public places, public buildings, places of amusement, eating places, vacant lots or any place unsupervised by an adult having the lawful authority to be at such places, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. on any day and 6:00 a.m. of the following day; provided, however, that on Fridays and Saturdays, the effective hours are between 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. of the following day; and provided, that the provisions of this section shall not apply in the following instances:
(1)When a minor is accompanied by his or her parent, guardian, or other adult person having lawful care and custody of the minor.
(2)When the minor is upon an emergency errand by his or her parent or guardian or other adult person having the lawful care and custody of the minor.
(3)When the minor is returning directly home from a school or church activity.
(4)When the minor is returning directly home from lawful employment that makes it necessary to be in the above-referenced places during the proscribed period of time.
(5)When the minor is attending or traveling directly to or from activity involving the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech, freedom of assembly, or free exercise of religion.
(6)When the minor is in a motor vehicle with parental consent for normal travel, with interstate travel through the City of Savannah excepted in all cases from the curfew.
(7)When the minor is on the property of or the sidewalk adjacent to the building in which he or she resides.
(b)It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian to permit or by inefficient control allow a violation of this section by a minor in his or her custody.
(c)Violations of any of the above provisions shall be punishable as provided in section 1-1013 of this Code. (Code 1977, § 9-1024)
PROPOSED ORDINANCE: (Changes in bold and italics)
“It shall be unlawful for any minor 16 years of age or younger to loiter, wander, stroll or play in or upon the public streets, highways, roads, lanes, parks, playgrounds or other public grounds, public places, public buildings, places of amusement, eating places, vacant lots or any place unsupervised by an adult having the lawful authority to be at such places, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. on any day and 6:00 a.m. of the following day; provided, however, that on Fridays and Saturdays, the effective hours are between 10:00 pm and 6:00 a.m. of the following day; and provided, that the provisions of this section shall not apply in the following instances…”
PROCEDURE: 
A. Enforcement of Curfew Ordinance 
1. The Curfew Ordinance will be enforced from Sundays – Thursdays from 10:00 p.m. on any day to 6:00 a.m. of the following day and on Fridays and Saturdays, from 11:00 pm and 6:00 a.m. of the following day.
2. The primary officer will spend no more than 15 minutes to locate a parent or other responsible adult at the scene. Such activity shall be documented.
3. After this period has expired the offending minor will be transported to a Youth Support Center.

B. Establishment of Youth Support Centers 
1. Youth Support Centers would be temporary facilities designed to hold minors detained in violation of the Curfew Ordinance after failed efforts to contact the parents at the location of the violation.
2. Youth Support Centers may be regional or by population or neighborhood in an effort to keep the minor in the closest vicinity to his/her home or the location of the violation.
3. Youth Support Centers will have temporary sleeping accommodations and food items where necessary.
C. Operation and Staffing of Youth Support Centers 
1. Youth Support Centers will be staffed by an on-call City employee and a SCMPD police officer.
2. Youth Support Centers will be activated on an on-call basis upon receiving confirmation that a minor has been detained and good faith effort to locate a parent have failed.
3. The detained minor will be transported to the Youth Support Center by SCMPD transport vehicle or Youth Support Center personnel.
4. Youth Support Centers will operate at a maximum of ten hours per day provided a minor is detained.
5. Minors transported to the Center will be photographed and interviewed. Parents or responsible adults that pick up affected minors, must be identified and interviewed.
D. Multiple Violations and Follow Up 
Minors detained for three violations of the Curfew Ordinance in any 12 month period will be referred to the Department of Family and Children Services for CHINS evaluations and services. Additional violations may result in the parents being charged under the Family Support and Responsibility Ordinance. 
E. Evaluation 
The Temporary Curfew Ordinance will be reviewed after 12 months and a decision will be made as to repeal, modify or enact these temporary measures.

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