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Smithfield enacts teen curfew

Posted August 4, 2010

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— The Smithfield Town Council on Tuesday approved a curfew for teens, which went into effect immediately.

Under the curfew, police can stop anyone under age 18 who is out between 11:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. Those who don't have a note from their parents approving their late-night activities will be sent home, officials said.

"I don't think anyone thinks it's a good idea to have teenagers and younger, hanging out on the street corners late at night, running up and down the streets late at night without a legitimate purpose to be out,” said Smithfield Police Department Capt. Bruce Gentry.

But some teens disagree and think the curfew is unfair.

"Most nights I don't go straight home after work. I go hangout with my friends. It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong. I shouldn't be punished for hanging out with friends after 11:30 (p.m.),” teenager Tori Johnson said.

Smithfield officials insist the curfew is designed to protect teens from crime.

"This is a protective ordinance, not a punitive ordinance,” Mayor Daniel Evans said.

Evans said the curfew will also help in deterring crime.

"What you can do is maybe direct some young person, or divert a young person, from committing a crime, or getting involved in a situation that they will regret for the rest of their lives,” he said.

However, teenager Kayla Waldrup said despite the curfew's intentions, some teens are not going to see it as a positive move.

“You’re going to have people who are going to be like, I’m not going to follow the law, and I’m going to go do what I want," she said.

Repeat curfew offenders will be charged with a misdemeanor, and their parents could also face charges, officials said.

72 Comments

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  • outback1967 Aug 6, 2010

    Is this stereotyping? some people look underage but are not

  • ncwiseguy Aug 5, 2010

    my old man always preached to me about being out late at night..........and the kind of stuff that could happen. like any youngster i d poo poo at his commentary. but looking at various media reports on violence, its clear the guy knew what he was talking about.

    teens you want to hang out late at night..........pick a friends house, hunker down and stay out of the potential fray.

    good move smithfield. no telling how many lives and how much heartbreak you have saved!!!

  • whatusay Aug 5, 2010

    zombiepilot1993...I am sure you would have a case in court. Laws that exempt illegals can't possible apply to American citizens.

  • zombiepilot1993 Aug 5, 2010

    How would they know whether someone is under the age of 18 or not. Would they have to make a judgement. Isn't this the same as profiling illegals in arizona, us young people should be in uproar. Such a violation of our civil liberties.

  • whatusay Aug 5, 2010

    Discrimination due to age applies only if you are 40 years old, or older, or an illegal (regardless of age). You can't stop illegals and ask for identification, although the fedral government has a hot line set up for police officers across this country to call to verify an immigrants status.
    Why would the fed gov't have a hot line to verify immigration status if it's against their rules to ask for an immigrants status??? This alone will blow Obama's law suite against AZ.

  • whatusay Aug 5, 2010

    This is funny, and I agree with the curfew for teens. Illegals come into this country and they don't have a note saying it's ok to be here. But American citizens, although teens, have no rights. Just doesn't seem fair, does it.

  • wildcat Aug 5, 2010

    A curfew for underage teens is great and I wish that was a law in all towns. This shows how responsible some parents are; not know what their child is really up too.

  • Methuselah Aug 5, 2010

    One question: How will the police know that the note is really from the teen's parent and not a fake written by one of his/her friends?

  • Humble Opinion Aug 5, 2010

    So let me see if I've got this straight - if the teen gets stopped he can show a note from his parents saying he can be out or else he gets sent home? In the words of my husband, "yeah, Zach and Slater would find a way around that."

  • ech Aug 5, 2010

    Cops can stop anyone under the age of 18. Now that is a whole lot more like profiling than the Arizona Law that only said that the cops could ask for proof of citizenship after they had committed a crime or traffic violation.
    I agree with both laws. But where are all the protestors for this law if we want to compare apples to apples. Or is profiling only profiling when it involves ILLEGALS. Which is a crime. It didn't state LEGALS.

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