Vicksburg mayor proposes youth curfew to address crime
VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - Vicksburg leaders say they refuse to allow teenagers to terrorize the city during the summer.
They plan to hold parents and children responsible if they do.
“We have to have law and order in our city,” stated Mayor George Flaggs. “We can’t continue to allow juveniles to commit crimes against each other and crimes against society.”
Flaggs says the rise in criminal activity involving children in the city is disturbing and compromises the safety of the city. Chief Penny Jones also takes issue with the increase in teen crime.
“We have calls where juveniles were fighting. Cars have been broken into and property damage,” said Jones.
“To be on the streets of Vicksburg vandalizing the city, terrorizing communities, and going into vehicles is unacceptable,” said Flaggs.
To help curb teen crime and chaos on the streets, the mayor is proposing a 60-day citywide curfew for children under the age of 18 years old.
According to the proposal, children will have to be off the streets from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The list of exceptions to the curfew includes minors who are accompanied by a parent or guardian, minors involved in an emergency or who are seeking medical treatment, and minors traveling to and from work.
“The penalties will be they are actually going to go to the juvenile detention center and they are going to have a hearing and they take a chance on losing their privileges for the rest of the summer. That is something that we don’t want to see happen,” said Jones.
The call for a curfew comes after the recent crackdown at the Vicksburg Mall. The police department will now fine parents up to $672.50 per child for unaccompanied minors at the mall.
“The government always has to step in when society fails in its responsibility,” said Flaggs.
While some residents see the curfew as too strict, others agree the city must increase its efforts to combat crime.
“Get the kids under control because the gun violence is outrageous,” said Vicksburg resident James Judge.
“I think it’s a good thing because of the way I was raised. I think when children are young, they should be in. Why are they roaming the streets at 11 o’clock at night. What is there to do? There is nothing to do in Vicksburg after 11 at night,” added another Vicksburg resident.
Flaggs plans to present the minor citywide curfew proposal for review and approval to the board of aldermen Friday at 10 a.m. in the City Hall Annex Council Room. The mayor says if approved, it will go into effect immediately.
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