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Could a city-wide curfew help curb teen crime rate in Tallahassee?

Thomasville Police say theirs has worked for more than 25 years
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 18:16:12-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Gun violence, robberies and burglaries committed, alarmingly, by children. Teenagers are increasingly contributing to Tallahassee's crime problem.

As the community struggles to find a solution, it raises the question: Would a city-wide curfew help?

The City of Tallahassee does not have a curfew for people under the age of 18.

"I remember as a teenager in Tallahassee myself, the idea for a curfew for a person under 18 came up," said Kevin Bradshaw, a public information officer at the Tallahassee Police Department. "It did not go through at that time and, to my knowledge, it has never gone through."

Just last weekend, two more teenagers were arrested, ages 14 and 16. The teens were arrested in connection to burglaries and a shooting on Capstone Road.

Anti-violence assemblies, community rallies and an increased police presence: All ways the city is trying to fight crime.

So what about a curfew for kids under 18? Florida A&M head football Coach Willie Simmons says curfews are something the city should look at.

"I do think we have to do something because I do see an increase in the amount of crimes and victimization that occurs with teen and young people under the age of 18," Simmons said.

The Thomasville Police Department has had a curfew in place for more than 25 years. Major Wade Glover says not only does it help with crime prevention, it also keeps kids off the street late at night where they can be preyed on.

So what about Tallahassee? City leaders know we need to get a strategic plan together when it comes to our children.

"We have our city retreat next week, and it will come up. I think we really need to look into diversion programs; things like curfews. Look at other cities and have they been effective there," said Tallahassee city commissioner Jeremy Matlow. "We need to do everything we can do to resolve this problem and it's going to take our whole community to do it."

Several rallies are being held around town to get city youth's involvement in the fight against gun violence:

- We Believe in Youth: There will be free food and entertainment featuring local step teams, cheer teams, dance squads and special guest speakers. It's happening on Jan. 18 at 2301 Pasco Street, Tallahassee, Fla. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Giving Hope Again, the Tallahassee Police Department and FAMU head football coach Willie Simmons.

- Gun Violence Awareness Assembly: It's happening at R. Frank Nims Middle School's gym on Jan. 16 at 10 a.m.