Connellsville considers new curfew for juveniles
A proposed ordinance to set forth a new curfew will be introduced to Connellsville City Council on Tuesday in hopes it will reduce crimes being committed by and against juveniles.
In the last few months, juveniles were involved in different violent crimes in the area — from the armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver to the assault and robbery of an elderly man in his own home.
Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln said the city needs to do something and review the city's curfew ordinance, which is 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The proposed ordinance sets the curfew for those under the age of 18 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday or during school hours from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
With exceptions like being accompanied by a parent, being involved in an emergency, employment or other exceptions, it's unlawful for a minor to be in any public place or inside a vehicle or a business.
“This new curfew ordinance is a positive first step to help our police department stop juveniles from committing any more serious crimes in our city,” Lincoln said. “Also, it has more teeth to hold parents accountable for the actions of their kids.”
Any minor or parent who violates the ordinance can receive a non-traffic citation from city police and the minor could be taken into temporary custody and released to a parent or guardian.
The first offense brings a fine of $50; second offense, between $100 and $150; and third offense, between $150 and $200, with parents subjected to imprisonment for up to 90 days and minors entered into the juvenile court system. The fifth and subsequent offenses include a fine between $300 and $500, with the parents subjected to 90 days imprisonment and the minors entered into the juvenile court system.
Any business owner who knowingly allows minors to be at the business and violating curfew can be fined $50 and possibly 90 days in prison for the first offense; two or more offenses brings a fine of $300 with 90 days imprisonment.
“One of the provisions I really like is this ordinance gives our chief of police the discretion to extend the curfew if he feels it needs be, because of a sporting event or any other function in the city that would involve juveniles,” Lincoln said.
City Solicitor Tim Witt said curfew ordinances must be very carefully drafted to ensure they do not violate the constitutional rights of both the minors and the parents.
“With this ordinance, we've narrowly tailored the application and enforcement of the curfew to protect those rights while still providing for effective enforcement,” Witt said. “Naturally, the goal with this curfew ordinance is to address juvenile delinquency in order to protect both adult and juvenile residents.”
Lincoln said the proposed ordinance is fair and hopes council supports its passage.
Also scheduled on Tuesday, a representative with Advan Advertising LLC will ask council to approve a permit to build a 12-by-24-foot billboard at 228 N. Fourth St. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Lincoln said the proposed billboard would require council to amend its billboard ordinance. He added it will take more than one council meeting to approve.
“Plus, we definitely need to get the public's input on putting up this massive billboard structure close to our beautiful river park,” he said.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Car, bike show to outfit police
- Home brew returns
- Falcons to host ‘Kitty Cat Game’
- ‘Zombieville’ rises again
- Apple Dumpling Festival planned at Connellsville Presbyterian Church
- Connellsville to crown homecoming queen Oct. 3
- Seven Springs ski patrol director honored
- 1901 time capsule pulled from Carnegie library wall
- Fayette County officials respond to complaints about jail
- Time capsule sealing planned during Perryopolis Pioneer Days
- Zombie Prom to benefit nonprofit