Moss Point beefs up teen curfew laws - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point beefs up teen curfew laws

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) -

Moss Point is tightening its teen curfew laws in an effort to curb crime citywide. Aldermen said a new ordinance was needed because the current one is too vague. Some of the city's teenagers have mixed feelings on the stricter laws. 

When the sun goes down in Moss Point, teenagers 17 and younger could be slapped with a fine, or even arrested, if caught on streets too late at night. 

"Sometimes we have to save our children from themselves," Chief Davis said. "Children that hang out late at night often find themselves involved in certain activities like fights, loitering." 

Police Chief Keith Davis said the new curfew ordinance bans teens from public areas from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. Young people can stay out an hour later on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Some teenagers, like 17-year-old Mika Poppenhouse, said the stricter curfews aren't a big deal. 

"I personally don't have a problem with it. Especially on school nights, because the grades could go up, and students would start doing more homework." 

Gabrielle McKinney said she doesn't hang out late and hopes the curfew can cut down on crime in her hometown. 

"There will be less drug trade in Moss Point." 

Jailand Williams agrees and said the curfew could also promote road safety.

"It will calm down teenagers getting in wrecks because they won't be out so late with drunk drivers." 

But teen Dani Stallworth admits the crackdown hours still need a little more tweaking. 

"A lot of people are out late and their parents don't know where they are, so I basically think it is a good thing," Stallworth said. "It's more good than bad, but I think the times can be negotiated."  

The chief said because this ordinance was passed Tuesday night, the city has 30 days to publish it before it can take effect. So, look for curfew to be enforced in mid-April. 

During school year, children cannot be out and about between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chief Davis said there are some exceptions to the curfew. For example, if a minor is accompanied by a parent, working, or involved in an emergency. 

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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