Alexandria is considering changing an ordinance on curfews for minors after recent vandalism involving juveniles.
According to Alexandria City Administrator David Plummer, the ordinance came out of a recent safety committee meeting after news of the vandalism. The city council heard the first reading of the ordinance at its July 6 meeting.
“Earlier in June, we had a few incidents of vandalism in the late hours of the night,” Plummer said. “The graffiti seemed juvenile in nature and coincided with the schools being out for the summer. Some private property got tagged, in addition to the public bathrooms in our city park. The committee decided to tighten up our curfew hours as a result.”
The ordinance currently allows 13 to 17-year-olds to walk around without an adult until 1 a.m. on weekends and midnight on weekdays. The proposed ordinance change is for 11 p.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. on weekdays. The curfew for children under 13 was already set at 10 p.m.
A change is also suggested that minors cannot walk around without an adult until 6 a.m. the following morning, updated from the current 5 a.m. time.
Plummer said that if an adult accompanies the juvenile, those rules do not apply. In addition, exceptions allowing for those returning from lawful employment, athletic events, educational events, and religious purposes are considered in this legislation to allow for a bit of “common-sense flexibility.”
Alexandria Mayor Andy Schabell said he thought the changes were a good idea.
“Technically speaking, if a police officer over the weekend sees a group of kids at 12:55 in the morning, we can’t say anything because they’re allowed to be out,” Schabell said. “So, there’s no good being done having kids walking through neighborhoods at 12:55. So we’re going to back that up a little bit, and I think that’s a good idea.”
The council will vote on the ordinance at their next meeting on July 20.