Monday, July 25, 2011

learning from baltimore's curfew

From the Sun:

Want to drive down teen crime? The curfew — along with a supportive center modeled after Baltimore's — may just help. But so would greater investment in summer jobs, recreation programs, drug and alcohol treatment for youngsters, anti-gang programs, and crisis intervention hotlines. Admittedly, passing a law is much cheaper.

We know the county's strapped for money and will squeeze pennies out of anywhere they can be found. For instance, Leggett deploys speed cameras in the name of improving pedestrian safety but doesn't work to change the way roads are designed, ensuring that cars will continue to speed and that pedestrians are still in danger. But being cheap isn't good policy.

As the Sun's editorial says, a curfew like the one in Baltimore can be prone to abuse and won't have a huge effect on its own. Montgomery County would be better off focusing on other, more transformative solutions rather than a "quick fix" that doesn't cost anything to implement. After all, you get what you pay for.


timarnold said...

I couldn't agree more that the proposed curfew will likely have little to no impact on crime and only adversely impact lawful kids out as late as their parents allow them to be. When I heard an officer from the MC Park Police who called in to the Kojo show last week say that the curfew was needed so that officers would have the legal right to stop and question kids out too late regardless of whether there was any observable evidence of wrongdoing (which would give them the right to stop and question under current laws) my blood ran cold. That view is so shortsighted as to be laughable were is not so dangerously close to being accepted. Introducing more kids to the criminal justice system is not an answer to cutting down on crime, but it is one way to make more criminals. Please urge your council members to vote against the curfew!!

Big Bubba said...

Unfortunately, none of this addresses the issue that was originally brought up; how to deal with teenage kids from DC and PG county that cause problems late at night in DTSS.

I'm no fan of the curfew, but DTSS is bordered by DC and PG and none of the solutions other than the curfew offer a solution to how to deal with teens from these areas.

Robert said...

Turning kids who aren't causing problems and their parents into criminals isn't a solution. And giving the police "the legal right to stop and question kids out too late regardless of whether there was any observable wrongdoing" sounds more like something a police state rather than a country that is based on principles of individual freedom would do. The police should deal with kids who are causing problems and leave everybody else alone.