M-F to consider daytime curfew for kids

The goal of the ordinance would be to reduce crime and encourage youths to stay in school.

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MILTON-FREEWATER - A curfew ordinance that would keep kids off the street during school hours will be reviewed by City Council on Monday night.

While the ordinance is geared toward giving officers the mechanism to question kids who are not in school, Milton-Freewater Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer made it clear this was not a truancy ordinance.

"This is simply a daytime ordinance. It is an amendment which would give an officer a legal reason to contact students on the streets," he said.

The ordinance would require all minors between 7 and 17 to be in school or home during school hours from late August to early June, when school is in session.

Exceptions would be made for children who are accompanied by a guardian, home schooled, alternatively schooled, pursuing a GED through Blue Mountain Community College, emancipated or if they work part- or full-time.

The goal of the ordinance would be to reduce crime, including graffiti, and encourage youths to stay in school.

Other cities have initiated daytime curfews in the past, including Dallas, Texas. But the ordinances have often spawned criticisms from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union.

Though there is no fine associated with the proposed ordinance, youth offenders would be required to go to court for the offense.

"It is going to be a mere violation. It is not a crime. And the penalty, if they get cited, is that it will require they go before the judge," Boedigheimer said.

Council memberss will review the ordinance at their regular meeting Monday night, 7 p.m. at the Albee Room of the City Library, 8 S.W. Eighth Ave.

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