In a move to deal with the spike in juvenile crime, Atlantic City has decided to sound sirens every night at 10 p.m. They will mark the curfew that prohibits all those under 18 from being out on the streets, as Fox News reports.
What are the details?
“It's been a rough few weeks here in Atlantic City,” Mayor Marty Small stated on Thursday at a Boardwalk news conference organized to announce the new policy.
The decision comes after a series of incidents involving juveniles in Atlantic City, including the assault of a Boardwalk merchant who passed away after a confrontation with two juveniles in April.
At the beginning of this week a 16-year-old boy was charged after getting into a fight with his 19-year-old-brother.
James Sarkos, the officer in charge of the city's police department, believes that everyone under 18 without a parent or guardian by their side should be off the streets as soon as they hear the sirens sound.
After the curfew is sounded, police officers will have the right to approach and question all those who seem to be under 18 in order to properly determine their status, Fox News points out.
Those found to be in breach of the curfew will be taken to police headquarters and will only be released once a parent or a legal guardian come to get them. There will also be fines up to $1,000 for repeated breaches.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, the law provides exceptions for youths attending school or carrying out an errand assigned by their parents or legal guardians. However, it is mandatory that they return home as soon as they complete the actions.
Sarkos said for the news outlets that minors who are out on the streets after 10 p.m. are likely either to engage in unlawful activities or to be victims of assaults.
However, the authorities realize that sounding the sirens won’t suddenly bring back safety.
“We're not kidding ourselves. Government doesn't raise your children. Government is here to assist. Police your house. You know what's going on. Stop being enablers because some of these young kids are paying the bills,” Sarkos concluded about the intended changes in Atlantic City.