Garcia still focused on tightening youth curfew

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The Chronicle‘s Alexis Grant reports that Councilmember Adrian Garcia still has not given up on efforts to make Houston’s curfew more restrictive:

As chair of the council’s public safety committee, Garcia has tried for months to persuade his colleagues to approve an earlier night curfew. But they thought his original proposal — requiring youths to be off the streets by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends — was too early.

So Garcia, a former police officer, recently came up with a compromise: keep the midnight deadline on weekends, but change it to 10 p.m. on weeknights.

He also would remove 17-year-olds from the curfew, making it apply only to those 16 and younger. That would bring the city’s curfew more in line with Harris County’s, which requires children younger than 17 to be off the streets from midnight to 6 a.m.

“We’re trying to balance a sensitivity to a youthful life, but at the same time it’s a public safety issue,” said Garcia, who thinks getting young people off the streets earlier would reduce crime.

He hopes the council will consider that proposal in the next few weeks, but Mayor Bill White isn’t likely to put it on the agenda until he’s sure it has enough votes to pass.

Do you ever get the sense that your elected officials are fiddling while Rome burns?

And some unelected officials, for that matter:

Police Chief Harold Hurtt supports Garcia’s proposal for an earlier curfew, saying it would give officers a tool to deal with unruly young crowds.

“We’re not going to be out there arresting two kids driving down the street coming home from a ball game or coming home from church or their job,” he said.

Did the police chief really just say he plans selectively to enforce the law if somehow Councilmember Garcia gets it passed?

Nice. We can treat curfew enforcement like immigration!

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