Local News

So Far, So Good for Cumberland Curfew

Posted July 22, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— As more communities consider juvenile curfews, many eyes are focused on places already already giving it a try. Cumberland County became one of them on July first. And so far, the curfew seems to be making a difference.

Sheriff's Deputy Kim Gagnon has noticed a difference since the curfew took effect in Cumberland County. She was the first officer to nab violators-- two girls who snuck out a window and went to a boy's house.

"It turns out the boy had been under house arrest for drug trafficking, which really concerns me," Gagnon says. "The mother came out and picked up the juveniles and I tried to explain the dangers of being out there."

Under the curfew, kids under 16 have to be home by 11:00 p.m. and stay there until 6:00 a.m. A couple of 15 year olds told WRAL'sRick Gallthey've been obeying the law.

Jernard Grant doesn't like the curfew because his 16 and over friends are still out when he has to come in. Grant says the parties are barely over by 11:00 p.m.

Jamie Scott has a different opinion. Scott feels like being inside is a good thing because people are always lingering on the streets, and some of them are likely to be jumped.

The Cottonade neighborhood has one of the most organized community watches in the county. The community association voted overwhelming in support of the curfew.

Jack Touhey of the Cottonade Association says the community is out to nail a very small percentage of kids who are into serious problems, into serious crime, and into serious trouble.

So far, across the county, deputies have picked up 15 kids for breaking the curfew. It's the sheriff's way of giving parents a helping hand.

The Cumberland County curfew will be law for a year. At that point, the county commissioners will review it and decide whether to keep it.

Photographer:Rick Allen