Officials in Earle, Arkansas consider curfew enforcement

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EARLE, Ark. — Earle officials said they’d consider re-starting enforcement of a curfew ordinance in the Arkansas town. They said it would dictate children under 18 must stay off public streets after 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and after 11 p.m. on weekends.

Otis Davis, of Fourth Street, lobbied city council to consider the measure. He lamented over the graffiti leftover on his block from groups of young people congregating there night after night.

He worried it could escalate, though he said the groups hadn’t caused any serious crime.

“A lot of kids like I said migrating, running, walking, using profanity and disrespecting [neighbors],” he said.

The proud Earle native and former mayor said he had a solution; at last week’s city council meeting, he asked officials to start enforcing the curfew for those under 18.

“It’s an ordinance they have in place. All I asked them to do is enforce it,” he said. “Make the parents accountable for their child.”

“Anything we can head off and be proactive about, we want to do that before something does happen,” Mayor Sherman Smith said.

But Smith didn’t commit one way or another.

“It’ll be discussed at our regular June meeting which is the second Tuesday of each month,” Smith said.

He knew parents would have to take more responsibility. Plus, Earle only has a part-time police department. He said sheriff’s deputies help out and they would likely enforce the curfew at night.

Davis didn’t worry.

“We expect for the police to do everything but our parents, our problem is not so much, we talk about more law enforcement, no, we need more parent involvement,” Davis said.

He says curfews could actually work in a lot of cities.

Memphis also has a curfew ordinance. A Police Department spokesman said officers have issued citations.

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