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Teen Curfew Enforcement Begins June 5th

Starting June 5th, the city of Columbus will crack down on young people who violate the city's decades old curfew. Mayor Coleman says that children 17 years of age or younger who are picked up by police for being on the streets after hours will be taken to the YMCA. It's a move he says that's meant to keep children safe and off the streets.'

Mayor Coleman says renewed enforcement of the teen curfew law will bring a new standard to the city.

"And the community standard in the city of Columbus is be home by midnight," Coleman says. "Just be home by midnight if you are 17 years old or younger. And for those who are younger than that 13 years of age, you have to be home within an hour after sundown. So in the summertime that's around 10:00 and 10:30. And to me that's very reasonable, for parents to have their young people home before midnight."

For the young people who are picked up, the police will take them to the downtown YMCA where they'll wait in one of three classrooms until their parents are notified. Don Heard works with juvenile justice at the YMCA.

"This is also another classroom that will be used for our curfew program and we have telephones in each classroom," Heard says. "The staff will go down and retrieve the parents and bring the parents up. We'll discuss any issues they're having or any help they need at that time. By the time the student's dropped off, we hope to get the children home within the hour."

If the parent or guardian cannot be located then the child is delivered to juvenile services the next morning.

The curfew will be enforced Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings through the end of August.

For a first offense the child and guardian must attend a three-hour workshop. A second offense requires the child to complete community service. A third offense may bring a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.