Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Council Considers Curfew for Minors

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Council Considers Curfew for Minors

Article excerpt

The St. Charles County Council is considering establishing a curfew for minors in unincorporated areas of the county.

The bill would make it illegal for a person younger than 17 to be in a public place between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and between midnight and 5 a.m. on weekends.

Minors accompanied by a parent or other adults responsible for their care would be exempted, as would those on an emergency errand or specific business.

Council member Jerry McGovern, D-6th District, sponsored the bill.

McGovern said the ordinance isn't directed at St. Charles County teens as much as it is those from other counties who come to St. Charles County because no curfew exists.

The bill cites recent damage to parks, playgrounds and other county facilities as reasons for the ordinance.

"Overall, I think the teen-agers in St. Charles County are a bunch of good kids," McGovern said. "But we've had some problems with kids from other counties."

Parents would get a written warning on their child's first offense, with fines of up to $300 for subsequent violations.

"As a parent myself, I should be held accountable for my teen-ager's actions," McGovern said. "If the parent is responsible for their juvenile, they'll keep it from happening."

McGovern said he recognizes that the real problem is a lack of activities for teens, but the ordinance will provide sheriff's deputies a tool to keep teens from engaging in dangerous activities.

The council is also considering a proposal to make the St. Charles County Dispatch and Alarm Agency a county department.

Officials of the agency, which provides dispatching services for 12 fire and ambulance services in the county, presented the council with a contract to have the county take over responsibility for the services it now provides.

The contract was approved unanimously by the agency's board of directors. …

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