Debate over teen curfew goes before Memphis city council

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — During a Memphis City Council meeting Tuesday morning, September 13, officials discussed a resolution that would enforce a curfew for teens in order to curb crime.

Council members discussed the resolution that would require the Memphis Police Department (MPD) to enforce the curfew and penalty violations.

“I do want to hold that for two weeks in light of information we have received today,” said Rhonda Logan. During the city council meeting, MPD explained to council members who it isn’t as easy as it seem.

City ordinance states kids 16 and under may not be in a public place after 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Curfew is 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Councilman Chase Carlisle is calling on the Shelby County government and the juvenile court system to help out.

“We do not have enough manpower to deal with every one of these things,” said Chase Carlisle, City Council.

For a 17-year-old, the curfew begins at 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at midnight on weekends.

Rep. Antonio Parkinson, (D) Memphis said, “The curfew is already on the books. It’s an ordinance within Memphis and Shelby County. It just needs to be enforced.”

Parkinson said parents are also responsible and should make sure their kids are home during curfew.

If an officer or EMT has to sit with that juvenile until they find a guardian or parent to take them back, that is not a great use for our resource,” said Carlisle.

Children found violating curfew can be taken to a police precinct. Police notify their parents, who could then be fined up to $50.

Over the weekend, five teens were arrested after a car burglary near Beale Street. MPD said it happened just before 11 p.m. Saturday at Fourth Street and Beale Alley.

Council members will meet again to discuss the curfew resolution in two weeks.