Police hope curfew passes, curbs vandalism in Kilgore

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - By Taylor Hemness - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Kilgore city officials say that during the summer months, they see more instances of vandalism, including sinks being ripped out of walls at city parks. But, the city council could pass an ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor for teenagers to be out late at night.

There are two schools of thought on how well it will work.

Kilgore city manager Jeff Howell says parents, police and school officials have asked for the city to look at a curfew.

"There's the old adage that there's never anything for the kids to do," said Howell. "Well, there's certainly not anything for them to do out roaming the streets after 10:30."

At Tuesday's meeting, an ordinance is being presented that would keep kids under 17 off the streets after 10:30 on weeknights, and midnight on the weekend. The city is hoping that if passed, the ordinance will cut down on some of the vandalism they have seen.

"We don't know that it's kids, but we hope that it's not the grown adults doing that," said Howell.

"Every summer, burglary of vehicles go up, we get a lot of vandalism, a lot of graffiti, egging cars," said Det. Roman Roberson, with Kilgore Police.

Debbie Head thinks a curfew is a great idea. She is the mother of two sets of twins. The younger set is 16 years old, and they know what time they are supposed to be home.

"My daughter's a high-stepper, and my son plays football so when they get out of their sports, they're out later but other than that they do have curfews, both of them," said Head.

But, her daughter, Peyton, said the reason her curfew works is because her parents enforce it. She agrees that the city curfew is a good idea, but says her fellow teenagers that don't have a curfew at home won't listen to one from the city.

"If their parents do not already have a curfew set, I don't think they'll be in by the time the curfew the law sets," said Peyton Head. "I do not think it will be effective at all actually."

At Tuesday's meeting, the Kilgore city council could decide to change the ages and times in the ordinance or they could decide to not take action.

As it stands, the ordinance also includes several ways that teens can be excused from the curfew, including being with an adult, going to or from a job, or if it is an emergency.

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