The City of Sheridan instituted curfew ordinances more than 30 years ago. Sheridan Media News Director Kurt Layher talked to Sheridan Police about curfew violations.
Recent events in Sheridan have made us keenly aware of the necessity of curfew laws. The former leaders of our community decided that our community needed to keep our youth home at night for their protection as much as for the safety of others. Sheridan Police Lieutenant Andrew Conrad says the department deals with curfew violations on a regular basis. So, do the ordinances work?
The current law has two different juvenile classifications. Children under 14 years of age cannot be out alone between 9:30PM and 4:30AM. Youth who are at least 14 but have not reached their 18th birthday are restricted from 10:30PM to 4:30AM. All curfews start one hour later on Friday and Saturday nights. What do police do when they find a curfew violation?
If the child has had police contact in the past or habitually violates curfew, a $75 citation can be issued. If parents know their child is out after curfew and did not take steps to keep them home, the parents can also be given an additional $85 ticket.
Police do have discretion with the ordinance. For example a youth traveling home from work after curfew will probably not receive a citation. As with any law enforcement, officers cannot be everywhere at once, and some violations will continue to go unchecked.