Memphis City Council Discusses the Enforcement of Curfew for Minors Under 18 Years Old

During a public safety committee meeting on Tuesday, The Memphis City Council discussed strictly enforcing the Memphis curfew for children 17 and under.

Vice Chairman Martavius Jones noted, “Juvenile crime has spiked over the years” and commended law enforcement for their public safety work.

“One thing that we do know, if they are in the house, a lot of this wouldn’t be happening” the vice chairman said; adding, “If they [children] were at home, under parental supervision, some of these things wouldn’t be happening.”

During the committee meeting, the council members passed a resolution that, if approved by the entire council, would call on the Memphis Police Department to begin strongly enforcing the Child Curfew Act of 1995.

The Child Curfew Act states that children 16 and younger must be home and off the streets by 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and by 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday, with 17-year-olds given an additional hour before curfew takes effect

“We have kids that are 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 years old, that are out, they’re not out at 10:45 rolling to somebody’s house and ringing and running anymore. They’re out packing heat and automatic weapons and handguns,” said Councilman Chase Carlisle.

In addition to urging the Memphis Police Department to enforce the curfew law, Jones’ resolution asks city officials to prepare a proposal for the establishment of “overnight curfew centers,” where underage children who are picked up after curfew would be held until their parent or legal guardian could come take them home. Presentations, the resolution stated, would be made to the Public Safety Committee of the Memphis City Council on October 11th.

During the committee meeting, Chief Davis of the Memphis Police Department expressed the concern for the department’s capacity to enforce the curfew. “The reason you haven’t seen as many of these summonses is because of our capacity, to be able to address all of these young people,” the Memphis Police Department explained.

Some residents in Memphis have concerns over the strict enforcement of the curfew for children 17 and under.

One local resident told The Tennessee Star, “Growing up in Memphis my whole life, I have seen my fair share of crime over the years. That being said, I believe that measures should be taken to better protect public safety, but the idea of a juvenile curfew sounds ridiculous. Juvenile curfew sounds like discrimination waiting to happen. The Memphis City Council needs to focus their time, money, and resources toward other areas in need, like strengthening our law enforcement officers with more training and sponsoring young delinquent rehabilitation centers would help Memphis better itself as a city opposed to controlling its citizens for crimes yet to happen in the future. ”

A resolution will be considered at the next full city council meeting on October 11.

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Kaitlyn Osteen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Send Kaitlyn news tips to [email protected].


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One Thought to “Memphis City Council Discusses the Enforcement of Curfew for Minors Under 18 Years Old”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Why hasn’t the curfew already been enforced? People die over in Memphis – including young folks.