Parents, it’s curfew time, are your kids inside?
Each summer, the march of crimes begins quicker than you can say, “Man, it’s hot.”
Fed up with the annual spike in juvenile violations, Houma Police Interim Police Chief Todd Duplantis and his officers are reclaiming the city’s streets.
Just this past weekend, police arrested 28 teens – nine on Thursday and 19 on Friday night – for breaking Houma’s 10 p.m. curfew.
A joint operation to determine if store clerks were selling alcohol or tobacco to underage buyers also netted 12 citations.
Given the recent rash of car burglaries and reports of damaged property and thefts across Houma, Duplantis and his department are taking teens to task for walking the city’s streets after hours. And parents would do well to follow suit.
According to the curfew on the law books now, children younger than 17 are not allowed to “loiter,” “wander,” “stroll,” “play” or drive a vehicle without a parent or legal guardian between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
Lafourche and St. Mary parishes adhere to the same timelines.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office and St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office are also stepping up enforcement through the summer months, so parents and youngsters in those areas should also take note.
Duplantis is taking enforcement one step further. As offenders are arrested, their names are recorded and, if they violate curfew consistently, their parents will be cited for improper supervision of a juvenile.
The penalties for parents or legal guardians include fines between $25 and $250 and up to 30 days in jail.
First-time offenders are likely to be assigned a fine or community service hours. The courts have the option of citing parents too.
Second-time offenders face more serious charges.
So take note parents. As curfew approaches nightly, get your youngsters inside. After all, it’s the law!