New teen curfew established in Kansas City

New teen curfew established in Kansas City

Jaime Cone

PLAZA FOUNTAINS The Country Club Plaza is a local hang out spot for Kansas City teens. Since the curfew has been enforced, Kansas City youth has had to find somewhere else to go.

Jaime Cone, staff writer

Three Kansas City teens were shot and injured seemingly at random when an unknown suspect opened fire during a “flash mob” on the Country Club Plaza last August. Although the teens recovered, Kansas City is not taking this lightly.

Because of this event, and problems in the past involving flash mobs that turned violent, a new teen curfew has been enforced.

On Aug. 17, the Kansas City Council passed the ordinance 13-0, allowing police to enforce the curfew and give teens a wake-up call.

Don’t worry, as the curfew for this summer is almost up. The newly increased curfew is only in effect from Memorial Day to the last Sunday in September.

The city-wide curfew is 10 p.m. for minors under the age of 16. If you are 16 or 17, the curfew is extended to 11 p.m.

There is a different curfew regarding the five main entertainment districts in Kansas City: the Country Club Plaza, Downtown Kansas City, the Jazz District located on 18th and Vine, Westport, and Zona Rosa. If you are within one of these districts, the curfew is 9 p.m. for all minors.

Mayor Sly James has also promised Kansas City youth that there will be an increased amount of activities guided for teens throughout the city for which the curfew will not apply.

The new law includes an exception for those under 18 to attend an event “for which the city has specifically approved the presence of unaccompanied persons under 18 years of age upon city property.”

As for the rest of the year, a more relaxed curfew is enforced: 11 p.m. on weekdays for all minors, and midnight for Friday and Saturday nights.

The curfew schedule is based off of Philadelphia’s curfew.

Although the curfew may not be popular with who it regards, Kansas City Mayor Sly James stands by the decision for the new curfew law.

“I believe we have to do something. My message is very clear. I care about you.. I care enough about you that I want you to be safe,” he said.

So what happens if you get caught out past curfew?

Violators will be taken to one of two places depending on the severity of their offence: Brush Creek Community Center or Kansas City Police Department’s North Patrol headquarters.

A citation may be written to the parents of the offender. A conviction for violating the new ordinance could cost the parents up to $500, as well as court costs.

An order for the parents and child to attend counseling sessions may be issued. Also, the parent may be sentenced with probation time.

The reason for such harsh consequences is to deter unruly teens from causing trouble.

Although the council voted 13-0 in favor of the curfew, Kansas City teens aren’t thrilled about it.

“I don’t really agree with the curfew, but I get why they have it. Some kids cause a lot of trouble, but there are kids who can behave. I don’t think it’s really fair,” freshman Lauren Davis said.

But some think the curfew is necessary and will bring a change to the streets of Kansas City, restoring the safe feelings.

“Kids are kids. They should be able to gather with their friends, hang out and play ball over the weekend,” James said. “We just want each and every one of our young people to be safe.”