Summer curfew enforced for minors in Newark

NEWARK, NJ — Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced that from Friday, July 6, through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, the city of Newark will enforce its Summer Juvenile Curfew Initiative.

The initiative has been established to safeguard juveniles by ensuring that they remain under the supervision of a parent or guardian at night during the summer months. While parents have the primary responsibility to provide for the safety and welfare of their children, the city of Newark is committed to preserving the safety of its children and preventing juvenile crime and victimization, according to a press release from the city.

Parents are advised that police will enforce the curfew ordinance upon unaccompanied minors ages 18 and younger who are more than 100 yards from their residence from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. the following day. The curfew will not apply to minors conducting an emergency errand, which is defined as one undertaken to preserve someone’s life. The curfew will also not apply to minors engaged in or traveling to or from a business or occupation, which N.J. law authorizes a juvenile to perform, or to minors attending extracurricular school activities, activities sponsored by religious or community-based organizations and other cultural educational and social events that may occur after 11 p.m. and before 5:30 a.m.

“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,” Baraka said in the press release. “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.”

“The overnight hours are particularly hazardous for children because fewer family members and neighbors are outdoors to monitor their safety,” Ambrose said in the press release. “While we are working diligently to provide an ample police presence in all our neighborhoods, we respectfully request that parents abide by the summer juvenile curfew ordinance because it will be enforced. Our plan is to reduce the chances that children become victims of crime or become unwittingly engaged in criminal activity.”

Any minor found by a police officer to be in violation of this ordinance shall be brought to the nearest police station, where the minor shall be released to his or her parent or guardian. The juvenile, along with the parent or guardian, will be issued a written warning that will be kept on file with the police division for six months. A second infraction during that period will result in the arrest of the juvenile. If within six months from the second infraction the juvenile is again found in violation of the ordinance, the juvenile and the parent or guardian will be summoned to appear in court before a judge. Fines can range from $100 to $1,000.

Ambrose urges parents to abide by this ordinance and asks that anyone with information about any suspicious or criminal activity call the department’s 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-695-8477 or 1-877-695-4867. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips are kept confidential and could result in a reward. Anonymous tips may also be made using the police division’s website at www.newarkpd.org.

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