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Police Call for Teen Curfew

Public hearing scheduled for July 26.

Teens in Montgomery County may face a curfew as police try to deal with youths spilling over from Prince George’s and Washington, D.C.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) proposed legislation this week that would impose a curfew on minors at 11 p.m. on weeknights and at midnight on weekends. Teens are crossing over from Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, where similar curfews are already in place, according to Montgomery County Police. Enacting a curfew in Montgomery would level the playing field.

“Right now we have experienced juveniles from other jurisdictions which have curfews coming in to the county. Therefore we are proposing a county wide curfew so there would not be areas that would be available for juveniles under 18 to gather,” said Asst. Chief Wayne Jerman.

According to the legislation, minors would be barred from any public place after 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends, except when accompanied by parents, participating in school or religious functions or acting under the direction of the parent.

County and police officials said the curfew would also help curb gang activity.

“[The curfew] is an additional tool the patrol officer has in their toolbox that they can utilize if the situation warrants it,” Jerman said.

The County Council is set to hold a public hearing on July 26.

Councilman Phil Andrews said the proposal caught him by surprise Tuesday.

“Experience in other jurisdictions with curfews, the details of how they think it would work and whether the County Executive has considered other less intrusive or more targeted measures to address juvenile crime issues are some of questions I will bring up,” said Andrews (D-Dist. 2) of Gaithersburg, chairman of the council’s Public Safety committee.

A committee work session is scheduled for September and a vote will take place by the end of the month, Andrews said.

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