(CSU) BALTIMORE — Should Baltimore’s streets be closed after dark, with violence on the rise and summer just around the corner? On WBAL Radio this morning, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison was asked if a city-wide curfew may help reduce crime.
“It could. The question is, how do we enforce it? “Harrison explained. Harrison then went on to ask more questions than give answers. “Is there somewhere we can take the curfew breakers? What is the schedule? How do we locate parents? How long can they stay there,” he questioned.
Baltimore City, it turns out, has had a youth curfew in place for years, despite not enforcing it. It mandates children under the age of 13 to be inside by 9 p.m., and those aged 14 to 16 to be inside by 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on weekends.
But, as Harrison explained, “all of the logistics and all of that has to be established to prepare for if we decide to do it.”
So, how would imposing a curfew work, and is one necessary?
Two additional local law enforcement authorities spoke out for CSU.
Former Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jason Johnson remarked, “Parents are the ones who actually should be ensuring that their kids are inside at a respectable time.” Johnson basically agreed with Harrison. With limited resources and a long list of logistical hurdles to pass through, he believes there are more pressing issues for which officers should be used.
“The police are not allowed to use force to restrain a minor who is breaking the curfew. They just cannot and will not do so, and as a result, it is a toothless tiger “he stated. “You had fires during the Freddie Gray situation. You had events going on, and a lot of them took place after dark in the evenings when people came out “Tyrone Powers, a former FBI agent, said
Powers also mentioned when crime is actively occurring. During the riots, he recalls officers enforcing the curfew, but now shooting can be heard at all hours of the day. In the early afternoon on Tuesday, 60 shots were fired, virtually filling the street with bullets.
“Unfortunately, criminality has no time limit in Baltimore right now. We’re not talking about crime that happens after six or eight o’clock in the evening, therefore the curfew is more difficult to enforce “According to Powers.
It also makes reducing crime rates in general more difficult.
“It says that we have a lot more work to do,” Harrison remarked when asked what Tuesday’s violent, daytime crime spree stated about the current situation of Baltimore.
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