Curfew changes for unsupervised kids in Fort Myers
A new curfew would mean any unsupervised kids under the age of 18 would have to be back inside their homes by 9-pm in Ft. Myers instead of the current time of 11p.m. On Fridays, Saturdays and legal holidays, that time is now 11p.m. instead of midnigh Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Ft. Myers city council enacted a stricter curfew policy for unsupervised children under the age of 18 years old.
"It's another tool for law enforcement to do what they are supposed to do," said Councilman Levon Simms.
The new curfew would mean any unsupervised kids under the age of 18 would have to be back inside their homes by 9-pm instead of the current time of 11p.m. On Fridays, Saturdays and legal holidays, that time is now 11p.m. instead of midnight.
Since 2010, four people under the age of 18 have been murdered in the city. Leaders hope the move will help curb crime that involves youths.
The ordinance change was talked about for more than an hour, with parents and at least one attorney who spoke as a concerned citizen - debated the consequences of such a move.
"I hear the chief say loud and clear that the officers needed to enforce the ordinance and if we do that my kids are going to be breaking the law on a regular basis," said one parent who spoke before the council on Monday evening.
Everyone who appears to be underage would be stopped and the only exceptions being those who are attending school and religious functions.
Even with those exceptions, parents are concerned about their children who make work after the 9p.m. deadline.
"She comes down here sometimes with her friends that are in a band for music walk," said Eric Shorten.
Ft. Myers Chief of Police Doug Baker says parents whose kids stay out of trouble don't have anything to worry about.
"We're looking to identify two types of kids. First, kid... The kid right there on the cusp of criminal activity and the kid that's already there."
Kids caught violating the law would be issued a citation. The city voted to try out the new curfew for six months first before adopting it permanently. The new curfew will begin in 30 days.