Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kids in Baltimore City may soon need to be home earlier at night. A new proposal is on the table for a stricter curfew in the city.
Meghan McCorkell has the details.
The current curfew for children in the city of Baltimore is midnight on weekends and 11 p.m. on weekdays. Now Councilman Brandon Scott has proposed legislation to make it earlier.
Young people tore into a 7-Eleven in upper Fells Point around midnight in February. City leaders are trying to stop teens involved in incidents like that.
“We don’t want kids to harm anyone [or] to be harmed themselves,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
As the moon rises, Councilman Scott says he wants to see fewer children out on the streets.
“There’s no reason for a 10-year-old child to be outside at 10 p.m., 11 p.m. at night by themselves, without an adult, no matter what time of year it is,” Scott said.
Scott is proposing the city change its curfew to a tiered system based on age. Under the new proposal, children under the age of 14 would need to be home by 9 p.m. Teens between the ages of 14 and 16 would have to be off the streets by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends and during the summer.
Councilman Scott says the curfew is less about crime and more about helping children succeed in school.
“If we have less kids that are out at 11:30 at night…, then chances are we’re going to have more of them in school in the daytime,” he said.
Parents WJZ spoke to say they think the earlier curfew is a good idea.
“They got to get up in the morning,” said Andre Bryant. “Mine get up at 6 o’clock and they got to get ready.”
Officials hope an earlier bedtime may mean a more productive day at school.
A curfew violation could cost a parent a $500 fine. That fine could be waived if the family completes counseling.
The police commissioner has voiced support for an earlier curfew, saying many violent crimes happen overnight.