Thursday, December 1, 2011

MoCo public safety committee rejects youth curfew

Just now, the County Council's Public Safety Committee voted 2-1 to reject County Executive Leggett's proposed teen curfew. This isn't really a surprise, because two of the three councilmembers on the committee are Phil Andrews (D-Rockville) and soon-to-be Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda), who both oppose it. The third, Councilmember Marc Elrich (D-At Large), seems sympathetic at best.

From our friend David Moon at Maryland Juice:

[Berliner] complained that the curfew proposal sends the incorrect message that Montgomery County is unsafe, when crime statistics prove otherwise. He proceeded to note that other jurisdictions imposing a curfew likely did so under very different circumstances than the outlier crimes facing the County Executive. Mr. Berliner stated that "the curfew comes with high cost to the community's reputation" and that "we have enough data to say this is not who we are." He further added, "I regret that the County Executive feels so strongly about this and has invested so much personal time in this.... I think we need to just say we see it differently."

I especially appreciate Councilmember Berliner's statement that the curfew affects Montgomery County's reputation and its perception of "who we are." While the media (and County Executive Leggett) have been giddy to highlight youth crimes over the past few months, including last month's "flash robbery" in Silver Spring, to many, MoCo is still a county of overachiever kids and "Top Teens." And to them, proposing a curfew is at best stupid, and at worst an offense to good kids who haven't done anything wrong.

And as David says, if you'd like to put this stupid proposal bereft of community support out of its misery already, shoot an e-mail to, which will go to all nine County Councilmembers before December 6.

1 comment:

Woody Brosnan said...

Your comments are really divorced from reality. I wish you had attended last week's meeting of the neighborhood committee of the Silver Spring Advisory Board and hear the local principals talk about the challenges they face. The principals from Blair and Northwood talked about the difficulty they face in reaching the disengaged kids, about how they wish they had vocational programs because that is what some kids are asking for. One of our middle schools has taken to feeding dinner to children AFTER school because they are concerned that the kids are not being fed right at home.

Plus, you can continue to act as if the only kids who come to Silver Spring are from Montgomery County. The curfew also would apply to the kids from DC and PG County who are coming here. Berliner is right that Montgomery County is not DC and it's not Prince George's County. But it's not Sunnybrook Farm either.