NEWARK, NJ - A longstanding curfew for unaccompanied minors is again starting today and will last until September, city officials announced.
People under 18 who are found by police between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. more than 100 yards away from their home will be brought to the nearest police station, the city ordinance reads.
“We want the children of our city to enjoy the summer months safely by limiting the opportunity for them to come in contact with criminal activity,” Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “The safest place for children at night is under the mindful supervision of their parents or another trusted adult, and not on the streets. This initiative is aimed at ensuring that children, and all of Newark’s residents, have a fun and safe summer.”
A citywide curfew began during World War II, explained city spokesman Frank Baraff. More women at that time started taking on jobs as men were overseas fighting in the war, which left many children unsupervised.
“The curfew has been a long-time thing in Newark,” Baraff said, adding that he was unsure if the curfew has continuously been in place since WWII.
The city ordinance does not apply to a minor who is traveling to or from a legal job or any extracurricular, religious and community-based activities, the ordinance reads. If a minor is dealing with an “emergency errand,” the ordinance will not apply.
Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose called on parents to abide by the curfew while police work to“diligently to provide an ample police presence in all our neighborhoods.”
“Our plan is to reduce the chances that children become victims of crime or become unwittingly engaged in criminal activity,” Ambrose said in a statement.
The minor and parent or guardian will be issued a summons to appear in court if a third violation within six months of the second infraction occurs. Fines can range from $100 to $1,000.