Washington DC

How DC police chose youth curfew enforcement spots — and what residents think

Police say one focus is on youth safety, the other on intervention — to address some of the root causes of why young people may be out during the curfew hours

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D.C. leaders reaching deep into the toolbox to curtail city-wide crime trends. Curfews for minors age 16 and younger are the latest strategy from the mayor's office and police. On Thursday, they announced that starting Sept. 1, the youngest District residents will be required to be in the house overnight.

A police spokesperson told News4 the seven locations were selected due to crime rates in those neighborhoods and where juveniles have been known to hang out during late-night hours.

Police say one focus is on youth safety, the other on intervention — to address some of the root causes of why young people may be out during the curfew hours.

From Southeast to Northwest, some people we spoke with believe curfews are a step in the right direction.

"With all the carjackings and shootings and things like that, I feel like it’s good for my community, to have a curfew in place now," said Zakeya, a mother of four.

She fully supports the plan after witnessing incidents in the past and moving away from one of the curfew initiative sites.

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"I do see a lot of people around, like juveniles late at night, and they be walking around just looking or checking doors and things like that," she said.

Beginning Sept. 1, officers will begin picking up unsupervised kids ages 16 and younger if they're out during curfew, and taking them to the Department of Youth Services.

Curfew hours will be from 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weeknights and midnight to 6 a.m. on the weekends.

Despite the announcement, some neighborhood leaders say better solutions could be taken to provide long-term results.

"Making sure that we have the resources that we need for them and not jump back into policies that I think will put more kids in the system and then increase crime in the long-term," said ANC Commissioner Josh Jacobson.

"Part of it is making sure you know where your kids are; it’s going to be hard at any given moment to know where their kids are at any given moment."

People living in the affected areas are hoping the action proves to be beneficial in the future.

"Curfew, if that’s we need up here, to make sure all the juveniles is good, then I feel like I’m with it; I’m for it," Zakeya said.

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