Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Town Hall Forums Focused on Amended Curfew, Youth Connection Centers
Friday Jul 11th, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor, Police Commissioner Invite Feedback from Neighborhood and Community Members
BALTIMORE, Md. (July 11, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, along with the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice and a number of community leaders, and elected officials, announced the mayor's plan to host a series of town hall forums to discuss the implementation of the newly amended curfew legislation and to answer questions from residents.
The town hall forums are a part of Mayor Rawlings-Blake's continued commitment to offer members of the community an opportunity to connect with her Administration and other City leaders in an effort to foster dialogue that will lead to more solutions to keep children safe and out of trouble.
The town hall meetings will be held:
- Monday, July 21 at 7:00 pm
Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
- Tuesday, July 29 at 7:00 pm
University of Baltimore Law Center
1401 North Charles Street
(Mt. Royal Street Entrance)
"I want to emphasize that our curfew ordinance is not a criminal enforcement by the Baltimore Police Department," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "My commitment to identifying and helping Baltimore's most vulnerable children involves getting them out of harm's way and into a safe environment. This new curfew legislation is about ensuring that our children are given the proper resources to prevent them from becoming the victims or perpetrators of violent crime."
During the forums, residents will hear directly from the mayor and Baltimore Police Department (BPD) leadership about efforts taken or currently underway to address the curfew ordinance and procedures that will be used to address curfew violations. Residents will also learn ways the communities can assist in keeping our youth safe.
In addition, the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods, in partnership with city agencies and community associations, will be promoting a grassroots campaign to help educate the public on what the curfew amendments mean, including information about Baltimore's Youth Connection Centers.
"We will ensure that our enforcement of the curfew is consistent with the ideals of identifying at risk youth and connecting them with vital city services," said Police Commissioner Anhony W. Batts. "Training, monitoring, and constant evaluation will be a consistent part of our efforts so that every child receives the help they need."
Under the existing ordinance, all youth under age 17 must be accompanied by an adult after 11:00 pm on weeknights, and after midnight on weekends.
Under the amended curfew ordinance, children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult between the hours of 9:00 pm and 6:00 am, year-round, unless an exception applies. Youth ages 14 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am on weeknights during the school year, and from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am on weekends and during the summer months, unless an exception applies.
The amended curfew ordinance changes the daytime curfew, as well. Currently, the daytime curfew during the school year is from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Beginning in August 2014, the daytime curfew will extend from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm.
After one curfew violation, the young person's parents or guardians may be issued a civil citation or be required to attend family counseling with the child. If counseling sessions are not completed, or if a child has repeated violations of the curfew, the parents or guardians may be subject to a civil citation or a misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500 and community service.
Youth found in violation of the curfew will be transported to a Youth Connection Center. When a child under the age of 13 is taken to a Youth Connection Center for violating the curfew, the Baltimore City Department of Social Services' Child Protective Services division will be notified. Additionally, any youth found in violation of the curfew for whom a parent or guardian cannot be located will be referred to Child Protective Services. Youth Connection Center staff will strive to identify youth and family needs that could be addressed by state, city, or community health, mental health, and social services providers.
The Youth Connection Centers are operated through the partnership of a number of City agencies, including the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice (MOCJ), the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), the Department of Social Services (DSS), and the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS).
Curfew Centers began operating in 2008. The total estimated cost to run a Curfew Center year round, at full capacity, 24-hours a day, with a full array of services, is more than $350,000.
Community members are encouraged to share feedback by sending comments to email@example.com.