Knightdale Tests New Teen Curfew
Posted June 5, 2005 12:48 p.m. EDT
KNIGHTDALE, N.C. — Over the last several months the Knightdale Police Department noticed an increase in graffiti, or tagging.
The Town of Knightdale responded by enacting several measures designed to combat what it perceived to be the rise of youth gang activities. One measure was a curfew.
People younger than 18 must be home before 9 p.m. or supervised by their parents.
The rules also prohibit teens from gathering in groups of four or more at any time.
This was the first weekend the town tested its new rules.
"When we're playing basketball, everybody's like 'Yo, yo. It's nine o'clock. Let's head home,'" 14-year-old DJ Credle said. "Running home because it's 9:02 -- it's crazy."
Robert Ray, a Knightdale resident who supports the curfew, said the rules would help "slow some of these children down."
"What do they need to be running the streets at night for?" he asked.
Roger Ray, who also supports the curfew, is the parent of a 13-year-old son.
"I'll make sure he's in place. He won't have no problems," said Ray, who has lived in Knightdale for about 12 years. "I think this is a problem that just occurred recently. I don't think it's gonna be an ongoing problem."
Thirteen-year-old Christine Fischer said the curfew is not fair.
"It's just kind of not fair because during the summer, I'd probably be out until ten," she said.
Seventeen-year-old Malone Johnson added that he believes the curfew is "an extreme overreaction cause it's summertime."
Johnson said he was caught out after the curfew Friday night.
"I just got a warning," Johnson said. "But next time, he gonna have to catch me."
The first time teens are caught after 9 p.m. their parents will get a warning. After that, parents will be subject to a $100 fine.
Business owners also will be subject to the fine if teens are found on their property after 9 p.m.
"That puts the business in a bad situation," said Roger Ray, who owns a barbershop. "Do they serve these kids or do they let them go home?"
City and county leaders in Durham also are considering a curfew.
Some businesses also have recently implemented policies that restrict access to teens.
Consolidated Theatres prohibits anyone under the age of 16 from going to movies after 9:30 p.m. without an adult.
In January, Parkwood Mall in Wilson implemented a "family first" policy. It requires anyone 16 and under to be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.