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Lilburn enforcing new curfew for kids 17 and under

LILBURN -- It's midnight in Lilburn -- do you know where your children are?

The city of Lilburn has adopted a new curfew for local kids age 17 and under, one that means those found flying solo during late night and early morning hours -- as well as their parents -- are subject to citations, fines and, in the case of repeat offenders, detainment.

The ordinance, which Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist made official Monday, is "an effort to keep the city drug free and our streets safe by reducing the number of crimes that are committed by and against minors ... and to safeguard the welfare of our citizens."

Police Chief Bruce Hedley said the action is primarily an effort to try and curb crimes like graffiti and criminal trespassing.

"We wanted to really be proactive and give the officers the tools necessary to have that intervention capability before the crime occurs," Hedley said.

Aside from a few exceptions, Lilburn police officers now have the ability to confront kids left unsupervised after 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Those found to be in violation of the ordinance will be taken home and their parents warned on the first offense.

If further offenses occur, negligent parents could be susceptible to fines up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

Owners, operators and employees of local businesses will also be held responsible if they don't report curfew-breaking teens to police.

Crist said there was a round of applause when the ordinance was passed Monday. He pointed to incidences of "juveniles hurting each other and hurting our community late at night."

"This is not motivated by Lilburn being an unsafe place," Crist said, "but rather that we want to keep it a safe place."

Hedley said the city has seen about 200 reported incidents of graffiti in the last five years, costing police, taxpayers and local businesses money. The new curfew, he said, will help police perform their jobs more effectively.

"I don't know if it's a solution to the problem," Hedley said, "but it's one step closer to minimizing the incidents that occur."

Exceptions to curfew include "emergency errands," and travel home from a school activity, job or "an activity involving the exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, or free exercise of religion."

Hedley said Thursday that no enforcement incidents had occurred since the ordinance's inception.

Comments

Say_that_again 1 year, 9 months ago

This would be funny if it weren't a little pathetic. First, seems to me that the greatest problem would be those 18 to early twenties, so its targeting the wrong group. Secondly, all the exceptions. for instance "an activity involving the exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech..." would give permission to underage youth to protest the curfew by staying out after curfew, but then not be guilty of violating it because they are exercising free speech.

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docgreen1499 1 year, 9 months ago

Big problem.....if they are under 17 years old, they have to be charged with a State law and it goes to juvenile court.....they tried that in Norcross a few years ago and it didn't fly because of their age....but a good "high five" for trying......

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chasmcjr 1 year, 9 months ago

There is already a curfew for juveniles in Georgia and juveniles can't be tried in city court. This is going to accomplish nothing but lawsuits and confusion. It doesn't give the police anything they don't already have but I guess it makes some of the Lilburn citizens feel good!

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Motor76 1 year, 9 months ago

It's a crying shame the city must do the job the parents won't do. Our curfew was 12:00 when I was 17, and if we were late our curfew was changed to 8:00 for the next two weeks. Dad always said "Little good happens after 12:00" and as I grew up I found that to be pretty accurate. I weep for the society this next generation makes for the rest of us.

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