Harrington Enacts Curfew for Teens - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Harrington Enacts Curfew for Teens

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Commerce Street in Harrington, Del. (Photo: WBOC) Commerce Street in Harrington, Del. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- The City of Harrington has enacted a curfew ordinance that applies to anyone under the age of 17. 

The curfew hours are from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. The ordinance says children 16 years old or younger may not be on public property during those hours, but it does carve out a few exceptions. They include being with a parent and running an errand for a parent. 

Vice Mayor Duane E. Bivens says there was a good amount of debate about the ordinance and that it went through many different versions before it was passed by the Harrington City Council and adopted. 

The ordinance expires July 31. Bivens says the expiration date allows the council to revisit the provision and make changes based on a couple month's worth of results. 

Fines for violation of the ordinance range from $5 to $300 depending on the offense. Bivens says they are generally nominal, because the goal of the ordinance is not to put more of a burden on the families. He says the goal of the ordinance is to protect the youth in the community and get rid of some of the crime and suspicious activity that he says happens after hours. 

Not everyone supports the ordinance, though. Bivens told WBOC the city does not have data to support the notion that students in that specific age group are the ones causing crime, drug and disturbance problems late at night. 

People who oppose the ordinance say that is reason enough to to impose the new ordinance, and that the city council should not be creating a law based on a gut feeling instead of fact. 

The council will revisit the ordinance on July 31. If it decides to write a new ordinance at that time, the proposed ordinance can go to a public hearing before it comes back to the council for a second reading and adoption vote. 

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