MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City leaders say plans are in the works to tackle juvenile crime downtown and throughout the city of Memphis.
The word comes from leaders following a meeting with Memphis Police, the District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Court and the Downtown Memphis Commission.
With summer on the way and more children and teenagers out, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said a curfew will be enforced downtown.
“We will begin enforcing curfew downtown as a pilot. In recent years, we have not been able to enforce that law because Juvenile Court and county facilities will not take the juveniles detained for violations. Once we begin the pilot, we will take the juveniles to a city owned facility, call their parents, wait for them to pick their child up, and cite them to Juvenile Court,” Strickland said.
We asked Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris about the proposal. He said he’s hopeful it will work.
“It’s a really, really tough puzzle but I think we’d all like to see those kids off the streets, we’d all like to see our youth attended to and, moreover, we’d all like to see a drop in the crime,” Harris said.
Paul Young, President of the Downtown Memphis Commission and a city of Memphis mayoral candidate, has been part of the discussions with MPD, Juvenile Court and the District Attorney’s Office about curbing crime in the entertainment district.
“The issues around juveniles will be a part of the plan but it’s a comprehensive plan that is looking at all of the city and how we can make sure our community is safe,” Young said.
As the ordinance currently stands, the curfew for minors between 17 and 18 years old is 11 p.m. on weekdays and 12 a.m. on weekends. For anyone under 16, it’s 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on weekends.
Mayor Strickland also added MPD is working on a comprehensive crime plan for the entire city. More details are expected next month.