For Immediate Release
June 11, 2009
For More Information:
John Ivanic 645-6798
City of Columbus and Community Partners Unveil Curfew Initiative
Building upon last year’s successful pilot curfew initiative, the City of Columbus in partnership with Franklin County Children Services will focus on keeping Columbus youth safe and off the streets after midnight by focusing on curfew enforcement in Columbus neighborhoods. Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Councilmember Andrew J. Ginther and Commissioner Paula Brooks kicked off this year’s initiative at Franklin County Children Services headquarters.
“Last year’s pilot curfew program was a huge success, and we’re proud to work with Franklin County Children Services to ensure that we continue to keep our kids and neighborhoods safe,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “Nothing good happens when kids are on the streets after midnight, and we need to do more to keep kids out of harm’s way and out of trouble.”
This year, Franklin County Children Services has agreed to become a partner for this effort. FCCS is an important partner because they have the best resources and expertise to assist children and families in need of help.
“Franklin County Children Services is pleased to partner with the City of Columbus on the Curfew program,” said Eric D. Fenner, Executive Director, Franklin County Children Services. “Our agency is committed to safety, permanency and well-being for each child we serve and we believe this important initiative will help in our efforts to keep children safe.”
If a child is picked up for curfew violation, Columbus Police officers will issue them a summons to appear in court for a curfew violation. Columbus Police officers will continue to make every effort to take them home to a parent or other responsible adult. If a responsible adult cannot be located, the individual will be taken to the Franklin County Children Services Intake Center at 525 E. Mound Street. There, caseworkers will contact the child’s parent or guardian to facilitate the return of the child as expediently as possible. The goal is to have curfew violators at the Intake office for a short period of time while efforts are made to facilitate the child’s return home.
"This new partnership with Franklin County Children Services and Columbus signifies how serious we are about the well being of our children," said Commissioner Paula Brooks. "Parents must work together with us to ensure their children are safe and have learned respect for laws meant to guide and protect them."
The current curfew law was established 35 years ago. Prior to last year, it had never been effectively enforced because police had no good place to take kids. The city’s curfew law requires minors under age 13 to be off the streets one hour after sunset to 4:30 a.m. and minors age 13-17 to be off the streets from Midnight to 4:30 a.m. A curfew violation is a third degree misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500 and/or 60 days in jail.
“We have made great progress in raising community awareness of our curfew law, and the importance of making sure our kids are home safe late at night,” said Councilmember Andrew J. Ginther, Chair of the Public Safety Committee. “This year we will work to reinforce that message, and make sure that parents and teens understand that that the city takes the law seriously. This about the safety of our children and teens, and making sure they are home, safe and sound before curfew.”