Curfew Aims To Curb Crime At Princeville Housing Complex
Posted April 15, 2004 3:11 a.m. EDT
PRINCEVILLE, N.C. — The town of Princeville recently began enforcing a curfew at one of its public housing communities in an effort to reduce crime.
Residents of Pioneer Courts Apartments have to be inside their homes by 11 p.m. or they risk being arrested for loitering.
"I don't think it's right for grown people to have to come in the house at 11 o'clock," resident Terry McGuire said.
McGuire says police officers will not even let her sit on her front porch after curfew.
The idea for a curfew was suggested by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Princeville Housing Authority, which owns and manages the property.
The housing authority says too many people who do not live at Pioneer Courts were showing up at night and causing trouble.
The town supported the curfew and agreed to enforce it to help stop crime.
Town Manager Sam Knight says Princeville's two full-time officers spent too much time at Pioneer Courts responding to calls of fighting, shots being fired and drugs problems.
"You can't afford to be sending them out on 10 calls a month when you have a whole town to patrol," Knight said.
Since the curfew took effect a month ago, police have only been called to Pioneer Courts three times.
Residents like Cowan Williams welcome the change.
"Now it'll calm down a lot out here. I like it. I feel much safer," the mother of four said.
McGuire admits the neighborhood has problems that need to be fixed. She and others who oppose the curfew say being forced to stay inside does not make them feel safe.
Town leaders say the curfew will remain in place indefinitely.
Another neighborhood in the town has a curfew, but it is not enforced.