CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo commissioners are considering establishing a curfew for teens 17 and under in response to a rash of violent crime involving teens in recent weeks.
“This is something we need to put in place. It should have been put in place a long time ago,” said Dist. 2 Commissioner Lyndon Johnson, who introduced the amendment Thursday. “It’s a curfew for 17 and under. We see the need for it in Caddo Parish; whether it was one or two cases, that’s one, two cases too many.”
The proposed ordinance would make it illegal for those aged 17 and under from remaining in or on any public property unless accompanied by an adult between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday and midnight to 5 a.m. Friday through Sunday. Parents would be subject to fines of up to $250 for the first offense and up to $500 for each subsequent violation.
“WHEREAS a substantial increase in the number and in the seriousness of crimes committed by minors against persons and property within the Parish, and this has created a menace to the preservation of public peace, safety, health, morals, and welfare,” the proposed ordinance reads.
“WHEREAS, the increase in juvenile delinquency has been caused in part by the large number of minors who are permitted to remain in public places and in certain establishments during night hours without adult supervision.”
The ordinance would include exceptions, including for teens with jobs, those involved in emergencies not of their own making, or those who have permission from their parents to attend activities sponsored by educational, religious, or non-profit organizations outside the curfew hours.
The City of Shreveport already has a similar curfew for those 16 and under, but the city council is expected to consider an amendment to that law in the coming weeks that would effectively raise the age of teens subject to the law to 17 and allow parents to be fined after a second offense instead of a third.
The Caddo Parish curfew law would impact areas like Keithville, Blanchard, Vivian, Greenwood, and Oil City.
The Caddo Parish Commission is expected to vote on the proposed curfew on October 7.