City looks into daytime curfews for youth

KING CITY — The City Council is looking into placing curfews on the youth of King City and brought up the item at the April 25 meeting.

The proposal for daytime curfews for youth came about as part of the Comprehensive Plan to End Youth Violence that a committee of 23 local residents and business members worked on. The curfews were one of the committee’s recommendations and would cover school hours between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

“The objective of this ordinance is to provide an additional tool for the police department so that they can approach school-age youth during school hours to try to keep them in school, reduce truancy, reduce gang activity and reduce other activities that can lead to gang involvement,” City Manager Steve Adams said.

The ordinance includes exceptions for activities approved by parents, the schools and children who are home schooled. The ordinance also does not include the months school is on break for summer or holidays.

“We are looking to identify those youth who are ditching school with the ability to contact them, bring them back to school and engage them into our pre-diversion program,” Police Chief Robert Masterson said. “To give them the assistance they may need to get back on track.”

Mayor Mike Lebarre brought up the question that what if the minor worked in Salinas and the half-hour would not be enough time for the youth to get home. The evening curfew is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The ordinance will come back for a first reading on May 9 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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