Council continues Lubbock juvenile curfew with new enforcement plan, curfew center

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 9:13 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) -The Lubbock City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to allow the Juvenile Curfew Ordinance to continue after Police Chief Floyd Mitchell presented a plan for dedicated enforcement efforts involving a Curfew Center and teams of officers looking for violations.

“When I first heard the Chief with this proposal, it took me back to about 1985 when I was Chief,” Former LPD Chief Thomas Nichols said. “We did this exact same thing.”

Nichols was first to speak Tuesday during the second and final public hearing on the ordinance, which is required before the Council abolishes, continues or modifies an ordinance.

“This is much, much more than just juvenile enforcement and getting kids off the street,” Nichols said. “This is a comprehensive effort, crime reduction, traffic safety, reducing crimes against violence, crimes against property and overall improvement of the quality of life in the city.”

Chief Mitchell outlined his plan at the September 13 council meeting to have six officers work overtime during the summer months to provide direct enforcement of the ordinance Thursday through Saturday and staff the Curfew Center, which will be the East Patrol Division Station. That’s where officers will take violators to receive a ticket and have a parent or guardian pick them up. They, too, will receive a citation.

“We educated the parents that picked up the children,” Former councilman and LPD officer Floyd Price told the Council. “It was more than just getting the children off the street. It was getting the parents involved in crime prevention.”

Price also spoke in favor of the ordinance enforcement plan.

“I was a crime prevention officer for 15 years for the City of Lubbock,” Price said. “We brought crime to a screeching halt, as far as young people were concerned, because we got them off the street. Not only did we get them off the street, we had counselors that were volunteers. It didn’t cost the city a dime. They volunteered to talk to the parents and also to the children.”

One citizen asked the council to abolish the ordinance and encouraged investment in other areas.

“If it is that the public and this council sees this as a problem, what it calls for is an investment in our communities, such that we start to stave off the effects of rot and decay and underinvestment that we have seen take hold in many parts of our community and start to show themselves across our infrastructure across our public sectors,” Joshua Shankles told the Council. “While I’ve heard it often, talked about public safety in this room, I would challenge the council to think about this as a public safety manager and as something that should have a proactive and forward-thinking solution to it rather than a punitive sort of measure that would, in fact, financially burden families that are probably in most cases already financially burdened, and would burden the time moving through the court system of families who are probably, if the behavior of their youth are any indication, already time burdened.”

Chief Mitchell believes crime data show the Curfew Center would best be operated in June, July, and August but told the council that his officers would further enforce the ordinance all year long and will make every effort to cite the parents as well as juveniles for a violation. To see his presentation, click here.

According to the Lubbock Juvenile Curfew Ordinance, any person 16 years old or younger in a public space between 11 p.m. and 6 p.m. would be cited, except on Fridays and Saturdays as the time frame is midnight to 6 a.m.

Any person 6 to 16 years old in public, outside of school, between 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on a school day would be cited, as well.

There are numerous exceptions to the ordinance, including when the juvenile is with a parent or guardian. To see the ordinance, click here.