Youth Leaders Weigh-In on Possible Curfew

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 6/25/2013 7:02 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF) -- Chattanooga has experienced a third more shootings than at this time last year.
Almost all of those violent incidents happen at night, and many of them after midnight.
Juvenile court judge Rob Philyaw thinks that setting a curfew for young people is a key to stopping the violence.

UDGE ROB PHILYAW, JUVENILE COURT "It's about taking care of these children..and they are children...10-11-12-13-14 years old who are putting themselves and others in potential harm's way by being out here on the streets of downtown Chattanooga at 3 am."

Most of the 60-something attacks recorded so far this year were at night, many after midnight, and most involving young people.
Is a strong curfew the answer?

PAUL GREEN, EXEC. DIR., HOPE FOR THE INNER CITY "... He's right in the sense that something has to be done and I think perhaps we need to try a lot of different strategies...beginning with something is a good thing."

Judge Rob Philyaw says enforcement of the existing curfew law is non-existent.

VINCE BOOZER, DIR. OF PROGRAMS, HOPE FOR THE INNER CITY "Curfew is a good start. I think you need to have some discipline, I think that , but you can't have discipline without therapy."

PAUL GREEN "There are a number of kids just roaming around ..Who are maybe not as accountable to their parents as possible..in a sense the street is raining them ..So, if you impose a curfew, what's going to happen to them."

Vincent Boozer says there's another factor missing as authorities deal with young people these days.

VINCENT BOOZER, DIR. OF PROGRAMS, HOPE FOR THE INNER CITY "Back then, when I was growing up in the inner city, we also had police officers who were concerned. That would come up to you and say what are you doing out here this time of night, you need to be in the house."

Judge Philyaw concedes a plan to deal with youths on the street, will not be a simple one. He says many things need to be worked out as the city steps in to stop the almost nightly violence.

Judge Philyaw says the rough draft of a curfew law has been delivered to Mayor Andy Berke.
It also proposes safe places for youngsters to stay after they are picked-up, and until an adult or parent can take them home.


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