ST. LOUIS — A tighter curfew law for children under age 17 was endorsed, 6-0, on Wednesday by the Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee.
The sponsor, Brandon Bosley, D-3rd Ward, said the measure would give police another tool they can use at their discretion in trying to curb crime. “I don’t expect them to be able to get out across the entire city to enforce this every day,” Bosley told the panel.
The measure, which now moves to the full board, would require kids to be home by 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 9:30 other nights. The city curfew now begins just before midnight Fridays and Saturdays and at 11 p.m. the rest of the week.
The bill also increases potential penalties for parents of children found to be violating the curfew more than once in a year-long period.
The measure, like the current law, cites a breakdown in supervision by some parents resulting in juveniles being involved in vandalism, gang activities, public drinking and other unacceptable behavior.
But Bosley said also that a tougher curfew could protect “children that are being subject to violence” because they’re outside late at night.
Under questioning by committee members, Bosley said he hadn’t done any research on whether extending curfew hours had resulted in less violence in some other cities.
He said the bill is a response to seeing a loss of order in some neighborhoods in recent years. “It’s just an idea,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, we can always change things.”
St. Louis police officials have yet to take a position on the bill; no one from the police department spoke at the committee hearing.