SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport’s interim police chief is hoping the increased enforcement age for the city’s curfew law that goes into effect Friday night will help curb violent crime involving young people.
The city’s curfew laws now prohibit anyone aged 17 and under from being out in public without a parent or authorized adult between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day except on Friday and Saturday when the curfew is in force from midnight.
Parents face fines of up to $500 for each infraction and up to six months in jail after three or more violations.
The Shreveport City Council voted to raise the enforcement age from 16 to 17 on October 12, and Mayor Adrian Perkins officially signed the amendment to the city’s ordinance into law last week.
The updated ordinance was supposed to take effect in November, but Interim Police Chief Wayne Smith says he and the mayor wanted it in place as soon as possible.
“More and more people below the age of 18 were either victims or suspects or had some involvement in offenses here in our town, and I want to reduce those numbers significantly.”
The Caddo Parish Commission is considering a similar amendment to parish curfew laws.
The proposed changes to city and parish laws arose in the wake of a series of violent crimes involving teens, prompting questions about whether the current curfews are strong enough and whether they are sufficiently enforced.
According to the police department, more juvenile curfew citations have been given out in October than in the previous nine months combined.
According to SDP records, three citations were issued in the first quarter of the year, between January 1 and March 31. Only one citation was issued during the entire second quarter of the year between April 1 and June 30, and zero citations for juvenile curfew violations were issued in all of the third quarter of the year, between July 1 and September 30.
But as of October 11, just 11 days into the fourth quarter, Shreveport police had already issued ten citations for curfew violations.