Citing crime, Montgomery County proposes curfew

Some teenagers in Montgomery County aren’t happy about the proposed curfew. It would be 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.

Under the proposed legislation, the parents of any child under 18 caught breaking the law will be liable.

“I don't think it's fair that they want us home at that time,” said Andrea Reyes.

But the county executive and the police chief say it’s necessary. That’s why they’ve proposed the new law. The police chief, Thomas Manger, testified Tuesday at a public hearing before the county council.

He pointed to an uptick in late night youth crime all over the county. He also pointed to a huge gang fight over the Fourth of July weekend.

“I think we need to right law that strikes the right balance between giving law enforcement the tool to deal with some of these situations and protecting good kids,” the chief said.

Jurisdictions around Montgomery County – in particular Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County – have curfews. In the July 4 incident Manger mentioned, youths from D.C. and Prince George’s County met in Silver Spring for a late night fight. A 17-year-old girl was stabbed.

And business owners who serve children will be responsible for getting them out of their establishments before curfew hours.

Silver Spring business owner Jeff Warner supports that.

“I see some problems with the teenagers late at night,” Warner said. “There are a few bad apples but you hate to punish all the kids for just a few.”