Proposal aims to change city's curfew for teens

INDIANAPOLIS - Part of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s anti-crime proposal includes an earlier weekend curfew for teens 15 to 17.

Proposals for an earlier curfew aren’t new. The idea has been tossed around in the City-County Council since 2012.

Councillor Jeff Miller, R-District 19, introduced the new ordinance that would push the weekend curfew up two hours.

"People ask if you're just shooting in the dark on this, no pun intended, or do you really feel that there's proof that it affects crime and yes, studies have shown that it does," Miller said.

Miller and other proponents of a new curfew think it now has momentum. Endorsed by police, Ballard echoed his support on Wednesday as part of a sweeping anti-crime plan.

"It's time for Indy to make the curfew for 15 to 17-year-olds 11 p.m. on the weekends. They have no business being out unsupervised later than that," Ballard said.

The curfew change is directed toward summer, when thousands of teens gather downtown on weekends. There have been cases of violence between rival teenage groups.

"The community can make a huge impact on our youth no matter what the curfew is. No matter what those decisions are, kids need to know in their own community that there are people who care about them," said juvenile justice advocate Jenny Young.

Many hope that with the intense public concern over the city’s crime rate, councillors may have no choice but to vote for a curfew that parents and police say will help keep teens out of trouble.

Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @chrisproffitt

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