DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After being in effect for nearly 30 years, the city of Dallas’ juvenile curfew is set to expire Friday to the frustration of many residents and some city council members.
According to the city’s ordinance, the curfew went into effect from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on weekdays due to teenagers having to be in school and from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, the curfew was extended to midnight to 6 a.m.
Earlier this week, residents and council members voiced their frustrations at Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall for allowing the curfew ordinance to expire.
Resident Edna Pemberton was disappointed to learn that the curfew she and others worked hard to create in 1991 will expire.
“It shouldn’t have happened cause we’re bigger and better than that. We want to save, we don’t want to lose another young person,” she said.
According to records, 398 teenagers were cited for violating curfew in 2015 and a similar amount in 2016. The number dropped to 283 in 2017 and 125 through mid-June of last year.
About six months ago, Chief Hall said her understanding was after the ordinance would expire, they could present potential changes. “I take full responsibility for that,” she said.
“I’m disappointed that we’re at this point. You’re making suggestions on a new ordinance could be implemented but we’re allowing something to expire without the opportunity to have that continuity. That’s concerning,” said city councilwoman Jennifer Gates.
If the ordinance goes through the expiration, Dallas police want to decriminalize the curfew so that families don’t have to pay fines.
In order for the curfew to be reinstated, there must be at least two public hearings on the issue. The city tells CBS 11’s Jack Fink that two such public hearings have been scheduled in February.