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Centerville Curfew Under 18 Years of Age

Centerville Police Department

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CENTERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Cedric B. Duncan, Chief of Police

308 E. Church St. • Centerville, Georgia

478-953-4222 • Fax: 478-953-1342

cduncan@centervillepd.com

PRESS RELEASE

On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, the Centerville City Council heard from Chief Cedric Duncan about the need to revise the City’s curfew ordinance for persons under the age of 18. Chief Duncan requested that the Council amend the curfew ordinance by tightening restrictions for juveniles to be out without an adult at night. Currently, the ordinance allows juveniles under the age of 18 to be out without parent supervision Sunday through Thursday until 11:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday night until 12:00 a.m. Chief Duncan asked the Council to change the curfew time to 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. the following day seven days per week (Sunday through Saturday). Chief Duncan also explained that parents/adult guardians of juvenile curfew violators may be cited and required to appear in the City’s Municipal Court. Conviction under the City’s Code of Ordinance can result in a fine of up to $1,000.00. There has been an ongoing problem with juveniles loitering and causing disturbances in the area around the Galleria movie theaters for some time. Amending the ordinance and holding the juvenile and parental offenders accountable is an effort to help prevent violence such as the tragic events of Saturday evening, February 3, 2024.

Following Chief Duncan’s presentation, the Mayor and Council voted unanimously to amend the ordinance as requested. Chief Duncan closed his remarks by thanking the Mayor and Council for supporting the changes and stating that “he hopes that the new language sends a message to parents/guardians to stop dropping their children off at the theater and other venues and not supervising their activities nor picking them up picking them up promptly.”

The new language of City Ordinance Sections 36-134-125 became effective immediately and states:

Sec. 36-134. - Hours; prohibited conduct.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to walk, loiter, idle, wander, stroll or play or to be present in or upon the public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, playgrounds or other grounds, public places and public buildings, places of amusement and entertainment, vacant lots or other such places on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every week between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, official city time, provided, however, that the provisions of this section do not apply to a minor accompanied by his parent or other adult person having the care and custody of the minor at that time, or where the minor is upon an emergency errand or legitimate business directed in writing, dated and signed by his parents, guardian or adult person having custody of the minor.

(b) Any minor under the age of 18 years who shall do any of the acts prohibited by subsection (a) of this section shall, upon request, furnish to the officers his name and address and that of his parents or guardian or person having custody and care of such minor and then be directed by any officer of the police department to return to his dwelling place or residence. Upon the failure or refusal of such minor to return forthwith, he shall be turned over to the appropriate court for disposition.

Sec. 36-135. - Parental responsibility.

(a) It shall be unlawful for the parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of a minor under the age of 18 years to allow, permit, make possible, tolerate or condone such minor to walk, loiter, idle, wander, stroll, play or to be present in or upon the public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, playgrounds or other grounds, public places and public buildings, places of amusement and entertainment, vacant lots or other unsupervised places on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every week between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, official city time.

(b) The parent or guardian or person having the care and custody of a minor under the age of 18 years, which minor shall have failed to return forthwith to his dwelling place or residence after having been requested to do so by an officer of the police department, shall, upon proof that such parent or guardian or person having custody or care of the minor has allowed, permitted, made possible, tolerated or condoned the minor’s doing of any of the acts prohibited to minors by this section, be deemed guilty of and, upon conviction thereof be guilty of an offense and punished as provided in Section 1-15.

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