Parents, community members weigh in on proposed curfew for Fayetteville youth

Monique John Image
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
People in Fayetteville debate consequences of a curfew
Fayetteville city leaders considering curfew to curb youth violence, not everyone is in favor of the decision.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tuesday night, Fayetteville City Council members discussed the possibility of implementing a curfew for young people.

City leaders say the goal is to decrease youth violence. However, some in Fayetteville are divided on whether a curfew would make the city safer.

Fayetteville officials say Police Chief Kem Braden will propose a curfew ordinance to the city council.

It would bar people under the age of 18 from gathering in public spaces from midnight to 5 AM on weeknights and 1 AM to 5 AM on weekends.

"I think that would be a good mandate."

The council advanced the Youth Protection Ordinance proposal to be placed on the consent agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting

Kimberly Karen, a mother of a 17-year-old, says people who aren't doing anything wrong shouldn't worry if they're encountered by the police in the middle of the night. She also says the population of young people who work late at night shouldn't pose a significant issue.

"Most 17-year-olds don't have a job that are out that late and it has been a lot of gun violence here lately in Fayetteville so I think that would be a good ordinance to put in place."

However, critics question how effective this idea is--noting negative results in major cities that have tried curfews in recent years. They also question how this idea would be implemented.

"If you see a young person who's out between midnight and 5 A-M, there's a really good chance that young person is in a situation where their house is not a safe place to be," said Gerard Falls of Fayetteville.

"Don't confine them. Do something about the gun control itself," said Miriam Ford, also of Fayetteville. "It's not the kids."

Ford expressed particular concern for young people working at night who could be unfairly scrutinized.

"Let them have a work permit to be out at a certain time. In case they do get stopped, got a reason."

Karen says officers should follow a certain protocol of asking young people questions when approaching them late at night to avoid making them threatened.

"I think they should maybe ask questions before they just assume that they're out doing something that they're not supposed to do."

This proposal is far from a reality at this point. It still has multiple steps before the city council before it takes effect.


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