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POLICE: CURFEW CRACKDOWN IS TO PROTECT KIDS

April 30, 2003 – Under an initiative called Operation Curfew Time that got under way last weekend, the Police Department is on the lookout for minors who stay out past 10 p.m.
The program is geared toward getting young people off the streets for their own protection and stopping the "midnight madness" of teen-agers who could end up in trouble, Police Commissioner-designate Elton Lewis said on Wednesday.
"Kids 10, 12 and 15 years old are out 'way after midnight," Lewis said. "We're trying to get a handle on it."
There was a heavy police presence in downtown Christiansted last weekend to crack down on minors in bars and nightclubs after curfew and on operators of the establishments who allowed them in or sold them alcohol or tobacco, Lewis said.
He said police detained a 15-year-old in the Moonraker nightclub at about 12:42 a.m. Saturday and that several other youngsters were picked up and taken to their parents.
But, Lewis said, he is getting feedback from police officers that "in some instances, the parents are more rebellious than the kids are."
"It's a very difficult and delicate issue," Lewis said. "Most of the parents of these kids are kids themselves. And even older parents seem to have no sort of control over their kids."
The Youth Investigation Bureau, supported by the Street Enforcement Team, is heading up the initiative, according to Sgt. Thomas Hannah, Police Department public information officer.
In the case of the 15-year-old, Hannah said on Wednesday, officers could not determine whether the teen-ager had been drinking but warned the bar manager and called the minor's mother.
Operation Curfew Time is a preventive effort, Hannah said. "We were having a number of minors getting themselves involved in criminal activity, and we're trying to cut that down," he said. "Sometimes minors go into bars, get drunk, and come out and start fighting."
Establishments serving liquor that allow kids in after hours and businesses that sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco to young people can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor as well as face sanctions regarding their business licenses, Hannah said.
In addition, parents who allow their children to be out after hours can be held liable, Lewis said.
"But we really don't want to go that far," he said. "We're asking for a dialogue between the Police Department and parents … We want to explain the importance of protecting kids and taking more responsibility about knowing where they are."

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April 30, 2003 - Under an initiative called Operation Curfew Time that got under way last weekend, the Police Department is on the lookout for minors who stay out past 10 p.m.
The program is geared toward getting young people off the streets for their own protection and stopping the "midnight madness" of teen-agers who could end up in trouble, Police Commissioner-designate Elton Lewis said on Wednesday.
"Kids 10, 12 and 15 years old are out 'way after midnight," Lewis said. "We're trying to get a handle on it."
There was a heavy police presence in downtown Christiansted last weekend to crack down on minors in bars and nightclubs after curfew and on operators of the establishments who allowed them in or sold them alcohol or tobacco, Lewis said.
He said police detained a 15-year-old in the Moonraker nightclub at about 12:42 a.m. Saturday and that several other youngsters were picked up and taken to their parents.
But, Lewis said, he is getting feedback from police officers that "in some instances, the parents are more rebellious than the kids are."
"It's a very difficult and delicate issue," Lewis said. "Most of the parents of these kids are kids themselves. And even older parents seem to have no sort of control over their kids."
The Youth Investigation Bureau, supported by the Street Enforcement Team, is heading up the initiative, according to Sgt. Thomas Hannah, Police Department public information officer.
In the case of the 15-year-old, Hannah said on Wednesday, officers could not determine whether the teen-ager had been drinking but warned the bar manager and called the minor's mother.
Operation Curfew Time is a preventive effort, Hannah said. "We were having a number of minors getting themselves involved in criminal activity, and we're trying to cut that down," he said. "Sometimes minors go into bars, get drunk, and come out and start fighting."
Establishments serving liquor that allow kids in after hours and businesses that sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco to young people can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor as well as face sanctions regarding their business licenses, Hannah said.
In addition, parents who allow their children to be out after hours can be held liable, Lewis said.
"But we really don't want to go that far," he said. "We're asking for a dialogue between the Police Department and parents ... We want to explain the importance of protecting kids and taking more responsibility about knowing where they are."

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.