Three municipalities are looking at doing more to keep children off the streets and out of trouble late at night, and they are looking at doing it together.

York City and the adjoining boroughs of West York and North York are considering whether to take a uniform approach to curfew enforcement.

Proposed is a change to York City's curfew ordinance that would establish an 11 p.m. curfew to match what is already in place in West York and North York. The city's curfew is currently midnight.

Meanwhile, West York and North York are considering whether to take advantage of a new curfew center set up by the nonprofit Crispus Attucks Association Inc., which is already used during the city's curfew-enforcement sweeps.

The York City Council will introduce the proposed curfew changes Tuesday for a later vote. The changes will then come up for public discussion at a meeting organized by the office of state Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York City.

People from all three municipalities will have the chance to share their thoughts on curfew enforcement at the meeting, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 11, DePasquale said.

"I think this is a really exciting concept," DePasquale said. "A lot of people talk about intermunicipal cooperation. ... This is something that can happen."

Night, day restrictions: If passed in York City, the proposed changes would also establish a daytime curfew so school-age children would not be allowed in public places during school hours.


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Businesses would also face new restrictions, forbidden from allowing minors to stay in their businesses after curfew.

The proposed bill would also give district judges more discretion over penalties, allowing them to waive fines if the
child and his parents enter a diversionary program designed keep the child out of the criminal justice system.

Such a program could help students and parents work to fix whatever is at the root of the truancy problem, Texter said.

Some of the proposed ideas reflect the recommendations of a curfew task force that asked the county commissioners last week to endorse a model ordinance establishing an 11 p.m. curfew countywide. The commissioners gave the concept their blessing, though it is up to individual municipalities to make any changes to the curfew laws or adopt one if they don't have a curfew now.

Still, some elements of curfew overhaul have been in the works for years, Texter said.

Councilwoman Toni Smith, who plans to introduce the bill, said an overhaul is badly needed so the bill can do more to curb juvenile crime at night.

"A lot of teenagers are out in the streets at 12, 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock," Smith said. "What do they do? They belong at home. They belong at home with their parents."

West York, too: Proposed changes to the curfew ordinance will soon be introduced in West York as well, said borough council president Shawn Mauck.

The current ordinance, just changed last year, is difficult to enforce because police let first-time offenders go with a warning. But the police department does not have a way to track first-time offenders, Mauck said.

Using a central curfew center would simplify record-keeping, and it would allow the borough's police officers to drop off curfew violators without having to wait with them, taking an officer off the streets, Mauck said.

North York borough officials could not be reached for comment Thursday, though DePasquale said they have been part of ongoing curfew discussions.

--Reach Daina Klimanis at 505-5439 or dklimanis@yorkdispatch.com.

Curfew talk
A meeting to discuss curfew enforcement in North York, West York and York City is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, at the Crispus Attucks building, 605 S. George St. The office of state Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York City, organized the meeting.