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  Youth Curfew Ordinance Enforcement Resonates with E-Forum Respondents
October 28, 2005

Following are all the responses from the October 26 E-FORUM “REVIVING YOUTH CURFEWS?” The response was overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing Richmond’s youth curfew ordinance.


·         Yes.


·         Yes, Tom, I will vote for it.


·         YES! Parents need to be more responsible for their offspring's actions and this might be a tool for parents that works with some in keeping them off the streets at night.  Of course, implementing the ordinance might be difficult if it isn't a "priority". I mention "priority" as there are two cars parked on Martina Street off W. Richmond by the church that have been there since August.  Three phone calls since then and the last I was told, "It is in the computer, but parked cars aren't a priority".  Going on three months!!


·         This would be a good thing for Richmond to at least try as a pilot.


·         I remember when the City's curfew was enforced in the '50s and '60s (my brothers were teenagers at that time).  We also had teen centers for youth to socialize and have fun.  It was understood that, as a minor or teen, you had to be home or on your way home at a certain time.  We didn't have the teen violence we have now.  I think curfews are wonderful and they should be implemented. 


·         Leave it to you Tom to find the backing to a well needed and much requested ordinance. I've asked so much I stop--no one has ever given me an answer to why there wasn't such as ordinance. Thanks for bring it to the surface. It's another step to solving Richmond's violence, however where do they go? I guess this puts back at the recreation centers being able to provide the programs that will meet all youth needs.


·         The only question I have is how enforceable is it?  If the police don't have the time or manpower it won't matter much and I'll bet that is why it has never been enforced. Is there any data that gives an idea of how valuable something like a curfew is? My guess is that it starts out strong and peters out over time to total disuse...


·         How does this class of minors contribute to the classes of homicide victims or perpetrators in Richmond? I think we all favor protecting kids from victimization, and if curfew can reliably perform this function, I would favor it. If, on the other hand, this is a device to make policing easier without actually protecting minors, I would prefer the ordinance left un-enforced. thanks for asking,


·         Simple. When you selectively enforce laws you have a lawless society. Just like traffic laws curfews were passed to help law enforcement to do its job. They can't do their job if they don't use all means available to them. Give notice that curfew is in effect and enforce it. A few months ago after taking chance on Richmond and moving into a new town home at Metro Walk, I was surprised to find a large young man standing at my garage door, apparently suffering from gunshot wound to the chest. He and another boy had been part of a running gun battle that began over in North Richmond. I just can't understand how authorities can let things get this bad, when there are laws on the books that just need to be enforced. What kind of parent allows their kids to hang out at 4 am. Enforce the curfew.



·         Maybe it would be worth a try (a trial period) to find out if it is good for Richmond. Also, has any thought been given to the use of those cameras on poles that San Francisco has been having success with recently in its dangerous areas?  There was a big story in The SF Chronicle a few days ago citing Mayor Newsom's plan to install more of them because they are working!!!  Yes, I know this smacks of "Big Brother Watching You!" but somebody's gotta watch - or do something!


  • You bet! I know some people will cry civil liberties, and it's a kinda hard call, but if the exceptions are honored, and young people treated courteously, I think it would help. Those are two big ifs. Of course it assumes that the homicides are by youth, primarily,  but I guess you have data on that. Will you bring this to the Council?


  • Love it!


  • While the idea of a curfew for teens isn't particularly odious for me in the main, I would never endorse it without knowing that it was balanced by adequate recreation programs for young people in this city.  In towns (both East Alto and Richmond) where there are limited resources for kids programming, it would be cynical to add one more limitation in the form of confinement to home -- homes that are sometimes the reason for the kids being on the streets in the first place.  It's a simplistic solution to complex problems.  I would hope that we were more imaginative than that but that discussions about it might give rise to far better answers.


  • I think that would be an excellent idea, e.g. the teenager, killed not too long ago on Cutting/Harbor Way still would be alive


  • I grew up in Richmond, attended Richmond Schools (Mira Vista Grammar, Portola Jr. High, and Harry Ells HS) in the late 50's.  I can recall being stopped more than once by a patrolling police officers while walking home from HS dances at Ells with a couple of friends.  The time was probably between 11:00 pm and midnight.  We were told we were in violation of the curfew law and that we'd better get home and to go directly home.  In retrospect, I would guess it gave the police an excuse to check us out and point out the fact that they were present and alert.  That seems a positive thing to me.  Of course in those days we have respect for the police, which doesn't seem to be the case today.  What time of day do most of the homicides occur in Richmond?


  • I would love to see it.  We had one in Joliet, Ill where I was raised and it


  • Tom, I am sure there are curfew ordinances even older that used to be enforced. I used to get caught breaking it !  60,s you know. It does give the police another tool but they know the ordinance is there if needed, and let me ask you this, do you think that for one minute this ordinance wouldn't be challenged on constitutional grounds if enforced? That's what happened in Oakland when they did it just a few years ago. Also what standard is an officer going to use in approaching to even determine a persons age? And considering the man-power shortfall do you not think they have better things to do ? It isn't people under 18 that usually commit these murders, and if they are victims of it, I ask the unpleasant question; What were you doing hanging out on a street corner in Richmond in the middle of the night ?  To tell you the truth most of the middle aged men, like myself, and that is hundreds, that I know who grew up in Richmond feel this way; If you are going to sling dope from the corner in your Grandmothers neighborhood you deserve what you get. To hell with the little turds, knock some heads. We know who the players are and where they "Play" we just lack the will and the backbone to do anything about it.


  • It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was a minor (but unfortunately, it WAS!!). I don't think that I would usually support a law like this. But given the day to day crime record of this city, it's not a bad idea. There are so many bad seeds concentrated in this town, I think that the law really has to step in and get strict. Funny that the curfew law hasn't been enforced. I wonder why. Thanks for your hard work.


  • Pinole had a curfew years ago and I believe still does. This gives the police a reason to check you out.  Little gangsters don’t want the police to have a reason to check them out. If I am remembering correctly, if you are not caught with anything illegal they just tell you to go home and they call your parents if you are seen again. (which may or may not be a deterrent to some).


  • I strongly support the use of curfews.   Don't understand why the Mayor and other leaders of Richmond do not want to enforce curfews - what is the downside?? In my view it may prevent youth from exposure to gangs, drugs and the criminal elements at the time of night and/or at minimum avoid the risk of danger as innocent bystanders.  At least consider changing the ordinance for minors under the age of 16 (as opposed to 18).  The crime problem will only diminish when the city leadership has the will to purge "known" drug dealers and gang members from the streets - that is step #1....and it has proven successful in much larger inner cities than Richmond.


  • I asked my 16 year old daughter to comment. She thinks the curfew is reasonable and fair. She wonders what the penalty would be for breaking it?


  • I grew up in a Chicago suburb and we had a curfew.  It had something to do with safety although we were not into killing each other back then.


  • Probably a good idea.


  • The curfew would be a good thing.  Perhaps after a first warning, the offenders could be put to work on an 8 hour shift on a Saturday or Sunday cleaning up the bay trail, the marina, the Richmond Parkway, or other areas that are blighted with litter, dog poop, and trash.


  • I think it's a great idea! I'm 68 years old living next to the Iron Triangle with section 8 housing for my neighbors. I will not go out after dark because of the scum bags in the neighborhood. I have been physically attacked, suffered significant property damage, had 2 dogs killed. I own my home and have a 6' fence and 2 surviving dogs.