Baltimore city officials are preparing to implement a curfew to protect youth under 16 from gun violence and police confrontations during summer vacation, which begins in the United States this June. The plan was announced Wednesday by the city’s mayor, Democrat Brandon Scott, and will go into effect this Friday at 10:00 p.m. ET.
We Recommend: FBI Files Reveal There Was a Plan to Kill Elizabeth II in the US
“We all want this to be successful,” said Baltimore City Councilman Mark Conway. “Our youth being out on the streets late at night is not a situation we wish to continue, but we also realize the sensitivities of how curfews are enforced.”
The curfew will begin on May 26 and last until September, the month in which most children and teens return to school for the new school year. There is a curfew for children under the age of 14 from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am the next day. Teens ages 14 to 16 may not leave after 11:00 p.m.
City employees and police said they would look for youths who violated the curfew. Youth found violating the curfew will be given an opportunity to go home or be taken to a community centre. After the first offence, they will get a warning. After the second time, the parent will be fined $50 (880 Mexican pesos) or will have to undergo family counseling. After the third offense, the parent will receive a fine of $500 (8 thousand 880 Mexican pesos) or community service.
The mayor’s plan includes opportunities for youth this summer, as well as accountability measures for parents. The city plans to offer a wide range of services and host events such as concerts, pool parties, cookouts, and basketball games to keep youth interested.
However, some residents worry that this curfew will not be enough. Community members are also calling for more youth mentorship programs.
Mark Cannon, a Baltimore resident, said, “The number one reason our youth are murdered.” “So, I understand that, but to enforce a curfew, you’re going to have other options.
Another member of the community said, “You have to get the community to come out and try to talk to these kids.” “First of all, our kids have no respect and you have to start showing them and teach them respect.”
Details about the city’s strategy to prevent youth violence this summer come after the most violent start to the year for Baltimore’s teens since 2015. The mayor’s office has sought answers to the problem in recent months, and while the overall homicide count and non-fatal shootings have declined so far this year, gun violence involving teens has moved in the opposite direction.