Although earlier forms of a curfew proposal have made it to the Columbia City Council's attention and not passed, Councilwoman Laura Nauser and Mayor Darwin Hindman are advocating for a proposed curfew that would likely apply to youths under the age of 17 after 11 p.m. on weekdays and Sunday, and on Fridays and Saturdays, the curfew begins after midnight.
Two recent robberies in Columbia that have sparked growing interest in the curfew proposal include the June 6 robbery of a 25-year-old Columbia man by a group of juvenile males in a parking garage at 100 S. Tenth St. that occurred at 1 a.m. Two weeks later, a MU student was robbed and assaulted by two juveniles outside the Hitt Street parking garage at 9:45 p.m.
“We are seeing a number of crimes committed by juveniles late at night,” Nauser said.
Surrounding towns have reported successes in reducing juvenile crime in advent of a curfew. New Police Chief Ken Burton is not only supporting the proposal, but he is supporting the idea of a daytime curfew during the school year that would keep residents under 17 off the streets during school hours.
If you prevent teenagers from committing crimes, Burton says, they'll be less likely to do it when they're older.
The Missourian has reported that Hickman High School Principal Mike Jeffers likes the curfew idea. “I think as long as it’s enforced, it can be an effective means to keep kids off the street at inappropriate hours,” he said.
Douglass High School Principal Brian Gaub said he was doubtful, however, that the curfew would have the desired effect.
“Increasing the number of laws does not automatically decrease the amount of crime,” he said.
Are you in favor of enacting a curfew, or even supporting a daytime curfew during school hours for those younger than 17?