PGC Council Introduces Voluntary Curfew Legislation Ahead in Time for Summer Months

WTOP NEWS: A Prince George’s County Council member has reluctantly proposed an expanded curfew, saying there’s “no reason to have a 15-year-old or a 16-year-old” without a chaperone during the wee hours on a school night.

Outside chambers Tuesday, Council member Ed Burroughs showed a video of a group of kids engaging in disorderly behavior. He said he gets similar videos every weekend.

His proposal for an expanded curfew could apply to what are considered primarily commercial areas in the county.

Burroughs, whose district includes National Harbor, said the proposal is an effort to keep young people safe, as “a lot of the violence that we see are young people against young people.”

“There’s no reason to have a 15-year-old or a 16-year-old without a chaperone at 2, 3 a.m. on a school night and that’s what we have,” Burroughs said.

Burroughs did not disclose who asked him to propose the bill, but said that over years, mainly during the last two years, he has heard from many businesses.

“I was very hesitant to move forward with this. But if things are not getting better, there has to be a remedy,” Burroughs said.

What the bill would do

Under the terms of the bill, an expanded curfew could require adult supervision of minors who are 17 and younger up to several hours before the current midnight curfew — which police aren’t really strictly enforcing anymore — takes effect.

It would take the backing of two-thirds of the businesses in that commercial zone and support from at least the county council member who represents that district to apply for the expanded curfew with the county police chief. After that, the chief would also be able to provide some input on the situation.

Burroughs was clear that he was just as frustrated with the county’s Park and Planning Commission, which he has criticized for the money being spent on its new headquarters.

“Where the attention should be, in my opinion, is what the county government is doing to engage young people in a constructive way after school, on the weekends and throughout the summer,” Burroughs said.

He asked where the money is going and whether the needs of the most vulnerable people are being met.

“I believe the answer is absolutely not,” Burroughs said.

Council chair Jolene Ivey said the bill will probably be passed by the time school lets out for the summer.

“No one is happy about it, really,” Ivey said. “I just wish people would stay on top of their kids, their young people, and make sure they’re involved in really positive activities and know it is not the thing to drop your kids off somewhere at some commercial area and just let them run.”

She said she was hopeful that parents would end up making the law unnecessary.

“Whether we have it or not, parents need to know where their children are and what they’re doing,” Ivey said.

Previous Article

UMD Food Pantry Sees 60% Increase in Need

Next Article

The Post Endorses Angela Alsobrooks in Maryland’s Democratic Senate Primary

You might be interested in …