Dawson police taking a tough stand at enforcing curfew
DAWSON - Dawson Borough has had problems with graffiti and vandalism which council hopes to alleviate with the help of Roger Adams, borough policeman.
And Adams believes his presence, on varying days and times, will help prevent problems and stop crime. But Adams stresses he is mainly concerned with borough safety.
Since being hired in September, Adams has patrolled Dawson Borough up to 30 hours a month. He recently announced that he would enforce the curfew ordinance, which applies to children under 18, who are not allowed to roam the borough's streets alone after 9:30 p.m.
"We have had problems with vandalism," Adams said. "But the main reason any municipality passes a curfew, is to protect the kids. The other reason I want to enforce it is that you have a couple local but several non-local youths running the streets at 12, one, two or three o'clock in the mornings. The only ones out there then will be those up to no good."
He has been talking to the youth of Dawson about the curfew and stresses that it's about safety, not as a punishment.
He also hopes for parental support. "Parents should work with the borough and keep their kids in. Some say they don't care if their kids are out at night. If we enforce the curfew strict enough, the ones we have to cite will be those who don't care." The summary curfew violation carries a fine of $10 to $300. Adams has already caught one young man out after midnight.
"I took him home and told his dad about the curfew. Everyone will get a warning. I'll take the kids home, talk to their parents, give them a copy of the ordinance. Repeat offenders will be cited. However, if a youth is committing a crime at any time, he or she will be arrested."
This is not Adams' first time as a Dawson policeman. He served in the mid-1980s and is pleased to be back. "It's a new generation. I might have talked with the parents of these kids in the '80s."
Adams reports to Mayor Pat Trimble, who discussed the problems with vandalism and kids running the streets with him shortly after his hire. "The curfew is 9:30 p.m., but the problem in the wintertime is that it's dark by 5:30 p.m. and things are bad then. Now, it's somewhat quiet, but they (kids) are out there. There's been minor stuff we have to correct."
Trimble has seen Adams' impact already. "I haven't gotten so many calls. He will be diligent about enforcing the curfew. Roger's been around so long, he's an old hat at it."
In addition to patrolling Dawson, Adams serves Upper Tyrone Township.
Council president Patty Lint said that council had discussed enforcing the curfew among Adams' duties. "I'm not unhappy to see that he's doing it," she said. "You wonder why the young kids are out at that hour of night with school the next day. Enforcing the curfew should help, once the kids' parents see that we're serious about it."