Curfew Enforcement in Hazard

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

The curfew is for teens under the age of 18 who are out after 9:30 at night. Chief Ronnie Bryant says the curfew is an old ordinance, but recent arrests highlight its importance, and he says he will soon have some extra help to enforce it.

Officers say the curfew is only for the teens safety. "Some of the teenagers have been victims of assaults, one instance where the victim was a victim of kidnapping," says Chief Bryant.

He says several other teens are facing charges for crimes committed after dark. "If the teenagers are out for no legitimate purpose, we will ask them to go home. If for some reason they don't go home, we will pick them up, bring them to the station and call their parents," he says.

Officer Ruey Couch says, "You get late at nights and things go on. We want to try to keep the younger people, keep them out of trouble."

Couch patrols the roads in Hazard and says as temperatures warm up, the curfew ordinance gets harder to enforce, but soon there will be some more help. Two former officers are returning to the force, Mike Napier and Bruce Fields.

"It's great, they are excellent officers, they worked here before. It's excellent to have them back, we need the help," says Couch.

Chief Bryant says a tight budget and a lack of trained officers is keeping them about five officers short of a full staff. Now the focus for all these men is keeping the community safe, especially the youth.

"It is one thing that we can do to prevent these teenagers from being in the situation for it to happen, especially at late hours," says Bryant.

Bryant says parents should know where their teens are by the time it gets dark. He says District Judge Leigh Ann Stephens is on board to help deal with the curfew and keep the city of Hazard safer after dark.

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