SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Shreveport City Council has voted to raise the age of juveniles subject to curfew laws from 16 to 17.
The city’s current curfew laws prohibit anyone aged 16 and under from being out in public without a parent or authorized adult between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day except on Friday and Saturday when the curfew is in force from midnight.
Parents face fines of up to $500 for each infraction and up to six months in jail after three or more infractions.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of Ordinance 143, amending the city’s current law to change the definition of a juvenile to “a person who has not attained 18 years of age.”
The amendment also allows parents to be fined on the second instead of third offense of the juvenile violating the sections of the ordinance specifically prohibiting juveniles from remaining in or on public property or on the premises of any public business during curfew hours.
The Caddo Parish Commission is considering a similar amendment to parish curfew laws.
The proposed changes to both the city and parish laws arose in the wake of a series of violent crimes involving teens, prompting questions about whether the current curfews are strong enough and whether they are being sufficiently enforced.
The city’s ordinance requires the chief of police to submit a quarterly report to the city council showing the number of violations and/or summons issued for violations of the curfew law.
According to those reports, three citations were issued in the first quarter of the year, between January 1 and March 31. Only one citation was issued during the entire second quarter of the year between April 1 and June 30, and zero citations for juvenile curfew violations were issued in all of the third quarter of the year, between July 1 and September 30.
But as of October 11, just 11 days into the fourth quarter, Shreveport police have already issued ten citations for curfew violations.