LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Lafayette police are cracking down on a curfew for teenagers.
This comes as residents raise concerns about kids and teens trespassing and stealing guns.
At a community meeting Monday with the Lafayette Police Department, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Lafayette City Marshal’s Office, a big talking point of the evening was the issue of juvenile crime in the city, especially late at night, and how to stop it.
“You heard tonight, a young man stood up and said, ‘On my street, I look out, and I got it on camera where they show up They just out of the car, they take weapons, and they stick them in the back or stick them in their pants. These are people who are 17, 16, 15, so as the chief of police, it’s vitally important that I make sure that the Lafayette community is safe and that we have some type of control in terms of making sure that our juvenile crime is nonexistent or very low,” Lafayette Police Chief Thomas Glover said.
Chief Glover says the best way to stop juvenile crime is by enforcing the 11 p.m. curfew.
“Nothing positive can happen if you’re below the age of 17, and you’re hanging out at midnight,” the chief said.
“Kids don’t leave the house intending to get in trouble a lot of times, but when they get out there and its two or three in the morning and they’re with a crowd of kids, a lot of bad things tend to happen that way. So we’re really trying to protect the youngest members of our community, so they can grow up and have these other opportunities that we all want them to have,” Lafayette Sheriff Mark Garber said.
He says if a teen under the age of 17 is out past curfew, the first offense will be a warning. The second time, the teen’s parents will be brought in and penalized. If it happens a third time, the teen and their parents will be fined and the juvenile will face community service.
“We’re not trying to see how many people we can catch violating the curfew. We’d rather see zero violations because it’s about the safety of these youth. We’re trying to protect them,” Sheriff Garber added.
On Sunday through Thursday, the curfew for teens 17 or younger starts at 11 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the curfew is midnight.