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Curfew ordinance questioned

PULASKI — New Pulaski Town Councilman Morgan Welker would like to see the town repeal, or at least amend, an ordinance requiring youth under 18 to be off town streets by 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.
Although a few exceptions apply, Welker said he sees “many potential scenarios” where the curfew ordinance could be a problem.
For example, he asked if the town police department should be called to arrest youth attending the Pulaski Mariners baseball games on weekdays when the games often do not end until after 10 p.m.
Welker said he understands the reason for the ordinance — vandalism and the like. However, he said those who want to participate in vandalism and other bad behaviors will do so regardless of a curfew.
The new councilman said there needs to at least be some alterations to the ordinance, such as reducing the age from 18 to 16.
“It’s not fair to punish everyone because of (the actions of) a few,” he added. “We’re telling our youth to stay home and play video games.”
“We say we want to keep youth interested in staying in town…but this gives them a couple of years resentment toward the” town, law enforcement and the town, Welker said.
Welker said he thinks the ordinance treats youth as if they are not people. “If they’re committing crimes, punish them for committing crimes,” Welker said.
Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche said officers have discretion on when to enforce the ordinance, which he added is not enforced often.
Roche said the purpose behind the 2006 ordinance is to keep youth from getting into trouble to start with. He noted it is a tool used to at least keep them from doing crimes.
“I’m here to give you the youth perspective on things, and that’s what I’m doing,” Welker said, adding that the age should at least be reduced to 16.

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Curfew ordinance questioned

PULASKI — New Pulaski Town Councilman Morgan Welker would like to see the town repeal, or at least amend, an ordinance requiring youth under 18 to be off town streets by 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.
Although a few exceptions apply, Welker said he sees “many potential scenarios” where the curfew ordinance could be a problem.
For example, he asked if the town police department should be called to arrest youth attending the Pulaski Mariners baseball games on weekdays when the games often do not end until after 10 p.m.
Welker said he understands the reason for the ordinance — vandalism and the like. However, he said those who want to participate in vandalism and other bad behaviors will do so regardless of a curfew.
The new councilman said there needs to at least be some alterations to the ordinance, such as reducing the age from 18 to 16.
“It’s not fair to punish everyone because of (the actions of) a few,” he added. “We’re telling our youth to stay home and play video games.”
“We say we want to keep youth interested in staying in town…but this gives them a couple of years resentment toward the” town, law enforcement and the town, Welker said.
Welker said he thinks the ordinance treats youth as if they are not people. “If they’re committing crimes, punish them for committing crimes,” Welker said.
Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche said officers have discretion on when to enforce the ordinance, which he added is not enforced often.
Roche said the purpose behind the 2006 ordinance is to keep youth from getting into trouble to start with. He noted it is a tool used to at least keep them from doing crimes.
“I’m here to give you the youth perspective on things, and that’s what I’m doing,” Welker said, adding that the age should at least be reduced to 16.

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