City could set stricter curfew laws for teens

City leaders pushing for a stricter curfew law are gaining momentum as the city continues trying to keep teenagers out of trouble.

The violent crime the city is dealing with lately and incidents with teens in public places downtown are all driving the plan.

Right now, teens need to be back home at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and by 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. The new ordinance says teens would have to be home by 11:00 p.m. every night of the week.

Summer break is right around the corner and before it kicks off, IMPD Chief Rick Hite has some questions for parents.

"Remember the old public service announcement, 'Do You Know Where You're Children Are?' Well, we're adding a twist to that. Do you know where you're children are and, more importantly, do you know what they're doing?" Hite said he would ask parents in this city.

Questions Hite says could be asked every time a teenager has been involved in a violent crime. One recent example is the night police say 16-year-old Simeon Adams shot and killed newlywed and expectant father Nathan Trapuzzano.

There have also been situations where teens out past curfew have themselves been the victims of crimes like last Fourth of July when a teenager was shot and killed near Circle Centre Mall.

"I believe they all need to be in by the time the street lights are on," said mom Kelly Brown, who enforces that rule with her 14-year-old son. "Setting house rules really worked for our family."

One of those rules is, if its past curfew, it's time to be at home.

"There's not much to do after dark where the kids...they need to be at home," said Brown.

That's why Chief Hite says no matter what happens with the city's curfew laws, police need parents to be on board when police try enforce it.

"We have to come away with an agreement as to what you want law enforcement to do with young people who are found in harm's way or in compromising positions after 11 o'clock at night," said Hite of the possible changes going forward.

A City-County Council committee is holding a session next Tuesday night at 5:30 at the Center for Leadership Development (2425 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street) to hear from the public on the stricter curfew.