Rule change for city-wide youth curfew

Ordinance now allows police to write citations on first offense

By Matt Rivers

SAN ANTONIO - As summer swings ever closer, it's a good time to remember San Antonio's youth curfew. It's designed to keep kids off the streets and either in school or at home.

But a change to the policy gives the ordinance a little more teeth.

Now, police officers can issue a citation or a warning to first-time offenders, something they couldn't do before

That rule is combined with the existing curfew and applies to kids ages 10-16. They can't be out between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., or from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year.

"You come across an 11- or 12-year-old kid who's out on the streets at two in the morning, and it gives a police officer the ability to stop that juvenile," said San Antonio police Chief William McManus.

Experts in the field agreed with the decision.

"I think it's not only to catch kids that might be committing a crime, but it's also to keep them safe," said Judge Laura Parker, of the 386th district court.

As school starts letting out for the summer, kids have more time to hit the streets and less of a routine.

"So it probably is good timing for it to be coming in now and police can try it out," said Judge Parker.

There are a few exceptions to the curfew rule, including when teens have jobs, are going to a school event, or when accompanied by a legal adult.

But if a teen is out for no reason at all, fines can range from $50 to $500.

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