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Downtown Greensboro Teenager Curfew Yields 7 Weekend Violations

11:31 AM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro - The latest weekend progress report issued by the Greensboro Police Department specified there were seven additional violations of the teenager curfew enacted for downtown on July 3. Those violations included five citations and release to a parent, one written warning and release to a parent and one arrest.

Those seven violations occurred on Saturday night and did not happen at Center City Park, where young adults have been known to congregate late at night during the summer and where four teenager arrests happened following Fun Fourth festivities Thursday. The Greensboro Police Department said the park closed at normal times this weekend without any reported incidents. Friday night, according to the department, was incident-free.

The Greensboro Police Department's public information officer said she could not disclose specifically where those incidents happened, though Greensboro police chief Ken Miller confirmed all seven violations were not the result of just a singular incident.

Both Miller and Greensboro mayor Robbie Perkins said these incident numbers suggest the curfew is effective. Though the curfew is on a 60-day trial period, Perkins said city officials will assess, closer to the end of the 60 days, whether to extend the duration of the curfew.

Miller said it is premature to speculate what else needs to be done, in addition to the curfew, in order to make downtown Greensboro safer. Of public suggestions to expand the curfew city-wide, Mayor Perkins indicated that might not be necessary, as most of the late-night incidents involving teenagers happen downtown.

A total of 13 curfew violations have happened since July 3 and include seven citations, four verbal warnings and release to a parent, one written warning and release to a parent and one arrest.

Greensboro Police Department PIO Susan Danielsen said officers use discretion and "many options available to them when interacting with members of the public" and subsequently deciding whether to issue citations, as opposed to written or verbal warnings. Miller affirmed the same discretion protocol is used in traffic light violations and other misdemeanor incidents.

This was the first weekend since the Greensboro City Council passed the curfew last Wednesday. WFMY News 2 asked viewers on Facebook whether they noticed an obvious difference in the downtown atmosphere this weekend.
Michael -Kristal Williams wrote, "Yes. Loved it. Hope the rest of the Triad will adhere to it also." Tony Jones wrote, "It really did not make me feel any more safe walking to my car after the ballgame, or to not worry if someone had broken into the car."

News 2 also asked viewers how parents keep track of their teenagers' whereabouts on the weekends. Many simply said it's good parenting.

Robin Mabe said, "I have a pre-teen, but I try to always be involved with what she's doing. I make an effort to get to know her friends and their families." She said if she finds a problem with a friend or his or her family, she tries to discourage contact with them. Viewer Wanda Walker wrote, "Remember, cell phones have GPS, and no teen is without their phone."

The curfew - the Youth Protection Ordinance - is a direct response to last Saturday's massive fight downtown involving an estimated more than 400 people-most of whom were ages 16 to 20. Police used pepper spray and a stun gun to manage the crowd, and some officers sustained minor injuries.

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