LAFAYETTE, La.(LPD)- The Lafayette Police Department hosted a meeting on yesterday with members of our Community Relations Committee, juvenile organizations and members of the 15th Judicial Court system to focus on the recent increase of juvenile curfew violations.
As the school year has ended and summer is well on its way, the Lafayette Police Department will be focusing on juvenile curfew violations due to an increase in violent crimes, car burglaries and trespassing when curfew hours are in effect.
“Just to prohibit and stop the potential for violent crimes, burglaries and things that could occur when individuals are out past curfew,” said Cpl. Bridgette Dugas, Public Information Officer for the Lafayette Police Department.
Any person under 17 years of age who has not been emancipated under Louisiana law are not allowed to be in public areas between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and are not allowed to be out on Fridays and Saturdays between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. Minors who are working, driving to or from work, performing a reasonable activity or who are with an adult guardian or parent can be out past curfew.
A curfew operation has been put in place across the city limits where officers will be focusing on locating and identifying those minors found to be out in public areas past curfew. Violators will be apprehended and parents will be issued a written notice of the violation upon the juvenile being returned. A request for prosecution will be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review for repeat juvenile offenders.
“The parents are subject to fines of course. Court costs, or whatever the judge may put on that particular minor, also you can look at jail time,” said Cpl. Dugas.
The Lafayette Police Department will have a zero tolerance for violation of curfew. We asked that parents and guardians of minors please be mindful of their whereabouts at all times and notify police if the minor is not at your residence when curfew hours are in effect to avoid costly fines and/or jail time.
“Are you hopeful that this will hopefully decrease juvenile crime throughout the city of Lafayette?” questioned KLFY’s Lester Duhe’.
“Yes, and it will because they’re going to add police officers to patrol at night looking strictly for people out after their curfew,” said Robert Smith.
Smith is with the Upper Lafayette Neighborhood Watch.
He believes the curfew will decrease crime in the city and hold parents accountable.
“Before, the parents had no liability whatsoever. They would bring them (children) home, the kid would be out the back door before the police left again. But now, when mom and dad have to go to the police station to pick up little ‘Johnny,’ they’re going to pay attention,” said Smith.
“We want the public to understand, that this is not a focus where we’re just going to be out here harassing everybody that’s walking. We’re going to specifically target people that look or appear to be under the age of 17 that are out and about, during those times that they shouldn’t be,” said Cpl. Dugas.
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