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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Will a Teen Curfew in Oakland Help Reduce Crime?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 1:06 PM

click to enlarge Goodnight Oakland ... - FLICKR/YELNOC
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  • Goodnight Oakland ...

When all else fails -- and it certainly has in Oakland -- lock up your kids.

Since shrinking police presence isn't doing anything to help crime in Oakland, the city is now considering a more reactionary approach: a teen curfew.

As CBS News notes, Oakland's Public Safety Committee tonight will consider a new proposal to make it illegal for kids to roam the streets during certain hours of the day. Those hours include 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on school days and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day of the week.

It might not be popular among kids, but it's necessary, according to Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo who proposed the new bedtime. In the last year, 11 kids have been killed due to gun violence and more than 600 armed robbery cases this year involved juveniles as suspects, CBS reports.

Gallo explained his logic to reporters:

"We have parents in this city who are not doing their jobs," he told CBS.

"They're not going to solve their Chemistry exam by being out at midnight and hanging out on Fruitvale trying to look for someone to violate.

Now for the burning question: Who the hell is going to enforce this teen curfew?

As pretty much everyone already knows, Oakland has been grappling with a nonstop shortage of cops, so much so that (the wealthier) neighbors and businesses have had no choice but to pool money to hire their own private security. Even reporters out on the job have secured their own armed guards to keep them safe after terrorizing working journalists became rampant in the city. Meanwhile, residents over in the Adams Point neighborhood have taken matters into their own hands, opting to patrol the streets themselves in hopes of deterring crime.

The city's lack of police presence became even more telling after the city was crowned the nation's armed robbery capital earlier this year. We also learned that Oakland last year assigned only one part-time investigator last year to solve more than 10,000 burglaries.

So sure, a teen curfew sounds nice (esecially for sleep-deprived parents), but as any responsible mom or dad can tell you, a strict bedtime only works as long as there's someone around to enforce it.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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