Owensboro officials have yet to make a decision on amending the city’s curfew ordinance and community activists are hoping a decision is made soon.
Since he presented a proposal in August, Tim Collier, My Brother’s Keeper Founder, has been working to get an earlier curfew for young people on the books in the city.
“We’ve set the kids up for failure with this curfew to begin with,” says Collier.
He says instead of one in the morning he wants to see the City of Owensboro change the curfew to 11p.m.
“Basically you’re not doing anything, but waiting for something to happen,” says Collier. “They are not working at the time. Not at activities. They are just hanging out.”
But since presenting the proposal to city officials last month, he says the decision is taking longer than he expected.
“It’s at a standstill,” says Collier. “It’s like nobody wants to make the first move.”
Owensboro Police say within the last five years they have written 27 curfew violations, but only two were found guilty. Meanwhile four are still pending and the remaining 21 were dismissed.
Daviess County Attorney Claud Porter says there’s a reason so many of these cases are dismissed.
Parents can file something called “Beyond Control Petitions” which tells the court the child is beyond a parent’s control which in turn negates the curfew violation.
He does not believe the curfew will affect a lot of change.
“We would like to see parents taking control of their kids,” says Porter. “Making sure that they are where they are supposed to be, watching them, monitoring them. Parents haven’t cited very many kids just for being past the time they were supposed to which tells me that most parents are keeping their kids in.”
For Collier, he questions who will ultimately take responsibility for the problem.
“I really believe the curfew will work, but it’s going to take the parents and the city officials to come together to come up with a solution for this because right now we do have the kids set up for failure with the current situation where the curfew is at 1 a.m in the morning,” says Collier.
Collier says he plans to continue attending the city commission meetings presenting his proposals.