Posted on April 7, 2010
Richmond Passes Daytime Curfew For School
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
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.