The city of Delta has put a juvenile curfew into effect. The town council passed the ordinance at the request of Delta Police Chief Robert Thomas.
“In 2014, Delta police officers were encountering issues within the community,” says Thomas, “in which
they were placing into protective custody young men, young women. At the age 12,13,14,15, after midnight, just roaming the streets of Delta. So the officers just didn’t feel they had the teeth, so to speak, to enforce anything. They didn’t have any law other than loitering, but the children weren’t loitering. They weren’t hanging out in specific locations, they roaming the streets. I’m of the opinion that nothing good happens after 12 o’clock midnight. The bars are closing. So the question to me, is why are these children out roaming the streets?”
With this new ordinance, there are some exceptions. If the juvenile is going to or from work, or leaving a movie or a school event, they would be exempt. It pretty much only affects unaccompanied minors without permission to be out after midnight.
“We want to cut down on graffiti, vehicle break-ins, home burglary, business burglary, etc. I know adults do it, but I know juveniles do it also. What purpose is there for a 12-year-old child to be out after midnight? There is no purpose. 98% of the time, you’re going to have a parent that’s going to be concerned that his or her child is out after midnight. I suspect there may be some upset parents, but we’re taking this action to protect the children in our community. That’s the goal.”
The ordinance will go into affect in April. Thomas says that leading up to that, they will be working on educating the public.