Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Curfew for Sikeston children?

Does Sikeston have a curfew for children below a certain age? If there is one, what happens if a child is out after the curfew? What is done?

We contacted Sikeston Department of Public Safety. According to the City of Sikeston’s Public Health, Safety and Welfare Code: § 210.1970 Curfew For Juveniles, it’s unlawful for any person 16 years and under to be on or remain on the city streets between midnight and 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday and between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. all other days and also during “normal school hours.” There are exceptions, such as when the child is accompanied by a parent; the minor is traveling directly to and from work and home or home and work; and an emergency errand. Sikeston DPS Assistant Chief James McMillen said: “Typically, officers are understanding when juveniles violate this ordinance when they give a reasonable excuse for being out during these odd hours. However, it is a given that teens and children need guidance and their best interests protected. I feel like the basic principle of this law is to do just that: look out for the best interests of these youths that are out after midnight, without said guidance. Like mom always said… ‘nothing good ever happens after midnight.’ I have learned that she was more right about that statement than not. Having said that … when these youths cannot give a reasonable excuse for being out, or are involved in shenanigans (or whatever) our officers may choose to arrest them for being in violation of the ordinance. They will then contact the parents and also the appropriate Juvenile Office. A decision will be made by the juvenile office on whether to release the child to the parent or place them in juvenile detention.This is often depending on the situation, activity and the child’s history with the juvenile office. In most cases, the child will be released to the parent, as a simple violation of this ordinance is just a ‘status offense’ (meaning it is only illegal because of the age of the child). However, in some occasions other activities or situations may influence the Juvenile Officers decision. This may include alcohol use, drug use, fighting or other criminal activity. The full text of the city’s “Curfew for Juveniles” code can be found online at http://ecode360.com/31800163?highlight=#31800163.