Rome city commissioners vote to impose 10 p.m. curfew on teens
ROME, Georgia. – A stricter curfew is currently in effect for teens in a city in Georgia.
Rome commissioners are debating whether to impose a 10 p.m. curfew following several violent incidents in their downtown neighborhood.
The curfew is currently at 11 p.m.
The board cast its vote after some commissioners raised concerns about the message this curfew will send to teens in this community.
They also don’t want kids to leave a soccer game or have a safe fun night out to be punished.
“Our downtown merchants have asked for this, for more checks downtown,” said Mayor Craig McDaniel.
He said the need for a curfew change was not just the result of an incident in the city center a few weeks ago.
“It’s a permanent problem. We had issues with vandalism in the parking lot. We had issues with … some restaurants in the city center had to engage their own security,” he told the council. administration.
However, it was the incident of last month that was the focus of Monday’s meeting.
About 200 young people gathered downtown that evening, according to commissioners, and wreaked havoc.
Commissioner Bill Collins explained that they “went downtown and created a disturbance, fighting etc. etc. I don’t even think it was 10 a.m.”
Shortly after, the city’s public safety committee recommended that the commission change the current curfew for anyone under the age of 17 from 11:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each night.
Commissioner Bonny Askew is the chair of the committee.
“It’s a flawed solution. It’s not something that we see as the solution,” Askew explained.
Several commissioners questioned whether it was necessary to pass this ordinance throughout the city, instead of just downtown, as that seems to be the problem.
“I don’t think we need to penalize every teenager, every child for being a child and a teenager just because you have a handful of them who want to act,” said Commissioner Sundai Stevenson.
“What about those McDonalds that stay open until 11 p.m., those Burger Kings that stay open until 11 p.m. and are frequented by these kids coming home with their buddies.” , Collins asked.
The curfew only applies to anyone under the age of 17 without adult supervision.
Some commissioners are also concerned that the curfew change will send a negative message to young people that leaders do not want them to come together.
“If we do this and even go down until 10pm, I don’t think we should be surprised if these young people are happy to be enjoying our Rome and have no intention of coming back,” said the Commissioner Wendy Davis. .
The council plans to give a newly formed task force time to develop a plan of after-school activities that young people can do and recommendations on this curfew.
It is not yet known when the commissioners will vote on the curfew.
WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta Live News Coverage
Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for the latest news and weather alerts.