CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s 10 p.m., do you know where your children are?
Parents, listen up: the Chicago City Council today passed a new curfew law that requires children to be off the streets earlier.
Under the new ordinance:
- Weekday curfew for minors 12 through 16 years of age is 10:00 p.m.;
- Weekday curfew for minors under 12 is 8:30 p.m.;
- Weekend curfew for minors 12 through 16 years of age is 11:00 p.m.;
- Weekend curfew for minors under 12 is 9:00 p.m.
Violators are subject to a fine of up to $500 or community service, according to the mayor’s office. Three offenses in a twelve-month period shall be subject to up to $1,500 in addition to community service.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the new curfew, saying it will protect children.
“I advocated for curfew laws while serving President Clinton because I believe the safest place for a child is at home,” he said. “This is another tool that will help fight crime and help children from becoming victims of crime.”
Emanuel also said that it won’t just be up to law enforcement to crack down on violators.
“While the government can do its part, we need parents to do theirs. We need parents to help make sure their children are home safe where they belong.”
Police Department statistics show officer-written curfew violations are down, CBS 2’s Kristyn Harman reports.
They went from 23,275 in 2009 – when the city moved up the curfew time by half an hour – to 19,555 last year. Halfway into 2011, there have been 8,398 curfew violations.
In the Harrison District, for example, there have been 279 curfew violations written up in six months, but resident Joan Lowe said she knows there are more kids than that out after curfew.
“They’re getting people, but … I think they can get more,” she said. “The police will ride by and see the kids in the play lot and won’t do anything. … I have a big problem with that.”