If yes, you might soon be in line for a citation as DeKalb County is looking into adopting a law that will make it easier for police officers to issue tickets to kids and parents alike if those 16 and younger are found out in public between 12 and 5 a.m.
DeKalb Commissioners are scheduled to vote by month’s end on a local curfew ordinance that would allow those under 17 to be ticketed if they are found wandering in public, including parks, buildings and streets, during the early morning hours.
If approved it would take effect before the end of the year.
In its subscriber content area, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that while Atlanta police officers wrote 166 citations to parents and minors last year using a similar state curfew law, DeKalb officers issued 222 citations.
There’s no doubt that it’s a tool to address quality of life issues, including reducing thefts, break-ins, vandalism, etc., but is it worth the time officers would spend enforcing the curfew? DeKalb is already down almost 200 sworn officers from the 1,100 it’s authorized to have.
And as the AJC reports, some studies indicate curfews “criminalize otherwise typical teen behavior.” Tensions between police and young people could increase, especially if uneven enforcement helps suggest racial profiling is being utilized.