Ocean Springs to consider teen curfew

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Ocean Springs Police Department is drafting a new curfew ordinance that would give officers a new tool to fight teen crime.

The plan would require teens under the age of 18 to be off the streets by a certain time each night.

"Here in the last few years, our community like a lot of communities on the coast, majority of our crime, especially property crime is committed by minors. We're looking for another tool to combat and control that," said Ocean Springs Deputy Police Chief Mark Dunston.

Chief Dunston also said, that a police officer cannot stop a juvenile, who is walking the street at night, unless the officer has reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

The curfew would have exceptions for teenagers going to and from work, events or who are with parents and guardians.  But what do the city's teens think about a city enforced curfew?

"Whenever I was younger, I use to think that curfew was stupid. My mom and dad gave me a curfew, be home at 11 o'clock, maybe 10 sometimes. It's actually better because I get more sleep, it's easier to study, and have more time," said teen Brooke Szigeti.

Police and officials are still working on the details of the new ordinance, like enforcement and penalties.  They hope to present it to the City Board in July.

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