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Pike wants review of Albany's curfew ordinance

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY, Ga. -- An Albany city commissioner asked his colleagues Tuesday to review and overhaul the body's existing curfew ordinance in an effort to hold businesses accountable who keep minors out past the permitted times.

Ward 3 Commissioner Christopher Pike initially brought the concept of a curfew overhaul up last year and is now revisiting the concept.

"My concern is that we have a lot of things going on in the city and some of these things are done by youth who are out past curfew," Pike said. "There are some businesses in town who are hosting events and some of them are going past the curfew time. ... It's not necessarily a look at changing the time, but more about how we approach businesses who are knowingly having events that are in violation of our ordinance."

The current ordinance forbids anyone under the age of 18 years old to be out between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays and midnight and 6 a.m. on weekends unless the minor is accompanied by parent or guardian who is 21 or older, is on an emergency errand for a parent or guardian, is returning home from work, or is traveling from an activity involving First Amendment rights or a religious rally or service.

During the discussion, Albany Mayor Willie Adams asked Police Chief John Proctor his opinion on the matter and his ability to enforce the curfew.

"It's a practical matter and that is one of the issues here, quite frankly, having the staff to do it," Proctor said. "There needs to be some additional things in the ordinance, I believe, that deals with the ultimate responsibility, which is with the parents. That needs to strengthened, if anything."

The commission is operating under the assumption that youth who are out at all times of the night are more likely to engage in criminal conduct.

"A lot of the this is the falling down of the social fabric of the community," Proctor said. "The responsibility falls squarely with the households. They have to put forth some effort to keep them there. We're enforcing the ordinance, but, again, they can go in the front door and right out the backdoor."