DETROIT (WWJ) – The city of Detroit is getting ready for its annual Angels’ Night anti-arson effort and a big part of that involves a curfew for young people. But this year, one Detroit lawmaker is speaking out against the emergency ordinance — saying it’s time for a change.
The City Council on Monday approved the three-day Halloween curfew for minors almost unanimously. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez was the lone no vote.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Champions for Mental Health Awareness Take Center Stage
“I think streets are public spaces. Kids want to go out trick-or-treating and sometimes they may not have parents to take them so they’ll go with a group of friends, and I think that’s OK,” Castaneda-Lopez told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “We really want to promote safety, we want to promote community, and not imposing this type of curfew lends itself to that.”
The emergency curfew ordinance prohibits kids under age 18 from being on any public street, sidewalk, alley, park, playground, vacant lot or any other unsupervised outdoor public place, or in any arcade, billiard or pool hall, bowling alley, restaurant, theater, or place of amusement or entertainment, unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. It’s in place from 6 p.m. Thursday, October 29 through 6 a.m. Friday, October 30; and from 6 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday, October 31.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Will You Get A Fourth Relief Payment?
Castaneda-Lopez said the curfew is antiquated, the culture in Detroit has evolved and other lawmakers should think about changing with the times.
“It’s a policy that’s been in place since, like, 1986 — almost my entire life,” she said. “And so whereas I recognize maybe the need historically, it’s good to revisit and look at what’s the reasoning for this and try something different.”
Maybe next year. But for now, if a young person is caught out on the street unsupervised during the curfew, they will be picked up by police and issued a ticket to appear before a judge for a disposition. The child’s parents or guardians could also receive a parental responsibility violation ticket.MORE NEWS: Unemployment In Michigan: 30,816 New Jobless Claims Filed Last Week
The council also approved an emergency regulation on fuel during the Angels’ Night timeframe. From 12 a.m. Tuesday, October 27 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, October 31, citizens will be prohibited from dispensing fuel into portable containers, except for emergency situations. Anyone violating the ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor and face 90 days in jail or a $500 fine.