East Brewton passes curfew

Published 3:59 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Teens in East Brewton are running out of time when it comes to being on the streets during the wee hours of the morning.

In a unanimous decision by the East Brewton City Council, a curfew will soon be in effect for the city’s teenagers.

East Brewton Police Chief Kenny Brazile said the draft presented to the council would be presented to the city’s attorney once they approved it.

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“Once the curfew is passed here, we’ll send it over to (Bill) Stokes for a final look at it,” Brazile told the council Monday. “We’ve made some changes at the request of a few council members. We’ve changed the provision about escorting teens and have changed the time for curfew for weeknights.”

Brazile said the curfew, as presented Monday, will mean that any person under the age of 18 should not be seen on city streets after 11 p.m. on weeknights and after 1 a.m. on weekend nights.

“We also have taken care of any truancy issues with this revision,” Brazile said. “School-aged children should either be in school or at home during school hours. We’ve had cases where we’ve seen children out during school hours and they have told us they were homeschooled. If that’s the case, they need to be at home.”

Brazile also said the new revision gives officers on patrol some discretion in cases they may see.

“It will be up to the officer to find out why a kid is on the street and not in school,” Brazile said. “It will also be up to them to find out why they are out if it’s after curfew time. There are some exceptions to every rule. We’re not here to hound anyone. We just want to eliminate having kids on the street at all hours. We have seen cases of mischief that these kids get into when they are allowed to roam the streets at any time of the day or night.”

Brazile said once final approval from the attorney is given for the curfew, a 30-day probationary period would be given before the curfew is enforced.

“We want to make sure everyone understands the curfew and how it works before we start enforcing it,” Brazile said. “After the 30-day period, we will begin taking care of any situations where teens are out after curfew.”

Plans for the curfew would impose fines on parents of teens who are seen loitering or wandering through the community during school or late night/early morning hours. Brazile said the plan would also include a fine schedule that would increase with each offense of breaking curfew.

Parents of violators would also be required to pay court costs for any procedure handled through the municipal court system.

Brazile previously stated the curfew being planned in East Brewton was drafted based on curfew rules in place in Mobile.

Mobile’s nighttime curfew went into effect Nov. 1, 2011, and the daytime curfew — only during school hours — went into effect Jan. 3.