23 juveniles cited in curfew sweep
Off the streets and out of harm's way: South Bend Police's Strategic Focus Unit along with uniformed patrol officers conducted a curfew sweep on June 8th and 9th.
During the sweep, 23 juveniles were detained for violating the curfew ordinance.
The juveniles, between the ages of 12 to 17, were issued citations.
South Bend Police conduct these sweeps to make sure that the community's young adults can stay safe and out of trouble.
"Juveniles who are out late at night past curfew hours, have a higher likelihood of being involved in a violent crime [as a] suspect, victim, or witness," says Capt. Dan Skibins. "We don't want that to happen."
Most were taken home and released to a family member, police said.
Two of the juveniles were taken to a safe station because no adult could be located.
"Two in the morning is even too late for adults. So to have a teen out, there's nothing to do that late at night or early in the morning," says Camille Robinson, the Unit Director at the O.C. Carmichael Junior Youth Center.
The Center is a part of the St. Joseph County Boys and Girls Club.
A club where she says, they focus on making sure their kids are safe, while having fun.
"I get it. They're teens and they want to have fun. But there are better ways to have fun than hanging out on the streets all types of night," Robinson adds.
Damontre Nutter just turned 18.
He grew up going to the Club's programs, and is used to having fun under a watchful eye.
"I always wanted to play basketball or hang out with my friends, so this was kind of a good place to do that," he says. "It was supervised, there's a lot of good staff, and I'm surrounded by people guiding me in a positive direction."
Both Nutter and Robinson are hoping that more teen and kids learn to be responsible and make good decisions.
"We hold our teens responsible. We're going to call them out when they're messing up but we're also going to teach them how to fix it when they're messing up," says Robinson.
She believes it's all about keeping kids busy.
"[Give] them responsibility…you know, letting them know you have something to do in the morning, so you can't be out late at night," she adds.
As a reminder, according to city ordinances:
- Juveniles between who are 15, 16 or 17 years of age are not allowed to be in public spaces without a guardian 11 pm to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday or 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
- For juveniles under the age of 15, they cannot be in a public place without a guardian 11 p.m. and 5 p.m. every day of the week.
The penalty for violating curfew is $25 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense within a one-year period, and $200 for a third offense and every subsequent offense within a one-year period.