WJTV News Channel 12 - Fayetteville mayor proposes youth curfew

Fayetteville mayor proposes youth curfew

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The anti-violence rally in Fayetteville earlier this week prompted Mayor Nat Robertson to think about how he could use policy to reduce violent crime in the city.

A curfew for young people came to mind.

"I believe this is a tool we can use as a city and law enforcement to help us achieve that goal of reducing crime,” Robertson said late Friday afternoon.

At this point it is just an idea that he has asked city staff to research. The curfew would likely apply to children under age 16.

“There are other communities that have done curfews, and they work other places,” Robertson said. “We need to take the best of the best and figure out how to mold our model after theirs."

Cumberland County has had a curfew in place since 1998, and while Sheriff Moose Butler says it is not commonly needed, it can be a useful tool to intervene with teenagers and not charge them with a crime.

“You can bring them in and deal with them and turn them over to their parents,” Butler commented. “Hopefully this'll make an impression upon them and their parents."

Robertson admits there could be some challenges to enforcement. He said, for example, the city will have to figure out what to do with children who can't be turned over to a parent immediately and if parents would be held accountable for a child's repeat offenses.

Robertson supports having some way to hold parents accountable if their children are caught violating the curfew multiple times.

"It's one of these things that needs to be well thought out," Robertson said. “If it’s not completely thought out – well thought out – it won’t be a success. If it’s not a success then we failed. We failed our youth; we failed our residents."

Robertson said a proposal could be ready for a vote by council as soon as August.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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