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Posted on April 7, 2010

Richmond Passes Daytime Curfew For School Kids


Posted on April 7, 2010

Richmond Passes Daytime Curfew For School Kids

RICHMOND (BCN) -- The Richmond City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a school-day curfew that they believe will help prevent children from getting into trouble or becoming the victims of crimes when they are supposed to be in school.

The curfew will go into effect at the beginning of the next school year and will prohibit school-age children from being in any public place from 30 minutes after school begins to 30 minutes before school lets out for the day, Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus said.

Any student found in a public place, including parks, public streets, businesses or any other place open to the public, will be picked up by a police officer and taken either to the RYSE Center or the Police Activities League, where they will be assessed by a counselor to see why they aren't in school.

Students will receive a non-criminal citation and will be ordered to appear with a parent or guardian before a juvenile court traffic judge.

The penalty will be up to the judge, but could include mandated counseling and support services, parenting classes for the child's parents, family counseling, alternative education, community service or a fine of between $50 and $500.

Magnus said nearly all of Richmond's neighboring cities already have similar daytime curfews in place, including El Cerrito, San Pablo, Hercules, Pinole and Benicia.

The school board and the city's public safety committee unanimously endorsed the proposed ordinance, Magnus said.

He emphasized that while the curfew is only one way in which the city is working to address crime, he hopes that it will help reduce daytime criminal activity.

He said that during a recent three-day truancy sweep in Richmond, police picked up 425 children who were skipping school. He estimated that once the curfew is in effect, police will be picking up between three and 10 children per day.

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin added an amendment to the ordinance to create a committee to evaluate the effectiveness of the ordinance once it goes into effect. [emphasis added]

Police plan to work throughout the summer to further develop their plan for what they are going to do with children once they pick them up, Magnus said.


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