Memphis Police Speak Out on Curfew

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(Memphis) The city is no stranger to blaring police sirens or crime tape. Many of those crimes are at night, and Memphis police say they are responding to those crimes and don’t have time to check for curfew violators. The state mandate says anyone under the age of 18 must be off the streets by midnight.

“There are the other things going on in the city,” said Col. Clete Knight.

Police Director Toney Armstrong says the law is hard to enforce.

“It’s very difficult to drive throughout this city and say I`m going to make some type of effort to locate and arrest every child,” said Armstrong.

So what efforts are being made to keep kids inside after midnight?

“A lot of time, we will get calls on juveniles being out and being loud, we will go check them,” said Knight.

If they are breaking curfew, Colonel Knight says officers will then drive them home.

“We need to get them back with their parents. “advised Knight.

Officers can issue parents a juvenile court summons for teens after curfew, but are not required to. In November, 4 summons were written by Memphis Police Officers. In December, when most kids are out on holiday break, one summons was written. In January, it was zero.

“We do what we can do,” said Knight.

Director Armstrong says enforcing a curfew is also a responsibility of families.

“As a parent myself, I certainly don`t look forward to the day that my daughter becomes involved in social activities. But I can assure you, there won`t ever be a day where I am not aware of her location,” said Armstrong.