Councilman Looks To Extend Curfew Hours To Curb Youth Violence

Posted at 10:58 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 23:58:13-04

A Metro councilman has proposed changing the city's curfew in order to curb youth violence in Music City.

Councilman DeCosta Hastings' proposed solution could get kids "off the streets" by making it a crime to be there in the first place.

Hastings believed moving the juvenile curfew time up an hour is one way to curb teen violence. He said the city needs to do more to keep kids safe and reduce teen shootings. 

"If it starts with saving one life, we have to save our kids. We don't want to have to bury one of your children. We don't have to need to be able to see another consequence for gangs anymore. We have to have find answers to these questions," Hastings said.

In Davidson County, the curfew during June 1 and August 31 runs from midnight to 5 a.m.

It begins at 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday between September 1 and May 31.

"If the kid is found repetitively and not only repetitively if they are out during the times they shouldn't be, there should be somebody held accountable," said Hastings

Hastings knows the proposal wont' fix everything, but said it's a start.

Councilwoman Sharon Hurt believed the change could cause more harm than good.

"I think that the councilman is well intended in trying to find some type of solution but I think this has unforeseen consequences," she said.

Consequences like creating more negative interactions with police, increased police workload, and questions if some families will be unfairly penalized.

"For example, a woman comes home from work after working two jobs and the kids need something to eat and she's just got money to do that. She sends the son back out, I'm guessing 11 o'clock or 11:15 but at least they'll have breakfast for the morning. Then he gets stopped by the police and you know that's just an opportunity open to go bad," she said.

Hastings has even proposed that parents may be fined if children are repeat offenders. 

Metro Council will take up the second reading of the ordinance August 15.