Montgomery County Council Tables Teen Curfew Bill

Anti-loitering bill also tabled

By WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
|  Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011  |  Updated 2:21 PM EDT
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MontCo Tables Teen Curfew Bill

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Update 1:04 p.m.: Montgomery County Council members have voted 6-3 to table a bill that would have implemented a teen curfew throughout the county. They also tabled an alternative proposal, a beefed-up anti-loitering proposal, by a vote of 5-4. 

Original story: Montgomery County Council members could make a decision today on two controversial proposals: a teen curfew and an anti-loitering bill.

The curfew was proposed over the summer after an incident involving some juveniles in Silver Spring. County Executive Isiah Leggett said at the time that teens from neighboring Prince George's County and D.C. met up in Silver Spring because those other jurisdictions had curfews, while Montgomery County didn't.

Council members have ignored Leggett's plea to pass the curfew quickly.  Today will be the first time the full council will take up the measure. The curfew would run from 11 p.m.-5 a.m. weeknights, and from midnight-5 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 

Council member Roger Berliner, who's expected to be elevated to council president today, says he will ask his colleagues to shelve the plan, as there are not enough votes currently to pass it. Shelving the curfew means it can be brought up again in the next 18 months. 

As an alternative to the curfew, Council member Phil Andrews proposed an anti-loitering measure in November. That proposal will also be taken up today, but will likely suffer the same fate as the curfew.

"I think it's a more focused tool than the curfew. And it is in place in other places," Andrews says. "But will the county police still be able to do a good job? Sure."

Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger is in favor of the curfew, but the local police union is against it.

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