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Natrona officals say curfew hard to enforce

| Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2003

HARRISON: Township commissioners said a curfew would be very hard to enforce, but told a group of residents from the Natrona section of the township that they'll look into doing something about problems being created by township youths.

A group of about 10 residents came to Tuesday's commissioners meeting to tell the board that there has been a high instance of graffiti and children harassing residents.

"We are having a lot of problems down in Natrona," said resident Fran Brown.

Other residents asked if the police could enforce a curfew.

Commissioner Chairman George Conroy said he knows there are problems in Natrona, but said there are two problems he sees with enforcing a curfew.

"What are you going to do with these kids when you catch them, fine their parents?" he said. He said most of the parents probably wouldn't pay the fines.

He also said that if police enforce a curfew in Natrona, they also would have to enforce it throughout township. If that happened, he said the township may be punishing children who have a legitimate reason for being out, such as coming back from work.

Township Solicitor Charles Means said curfews have become scarce.

"In recent years, the courts have made it really hard to enforce these things," he said.

Even if the fines went to the magistrate's office, they would be so far on the back burner that it could be months before the case would come up, Commissioner William Ruffner said.

Means said the best thing to try to do would be to get the kids picked up for something that would allow for a disorderly conduct fine.

Conroy told residents that if they see the kids doing something illegal, to call the police and let them know who did it.

"We'll check up with it and see what we can come up with," Conroy said.

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