Should teens be on the streets late at night?

Most folks don’t debate they shouldn’t.

But how late is too late? And what happens if they are caught out?

That’s what Savannah’s City Council is considering, and getting some help.

Many folks don’t even know Savannah has a curfew for kids already.

Its 11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends for anyone 16 or under.

That’s the way it will stay, at least for now.

Back in October we told you Alderman Van Johnson put out a proposal to move the current curfew for Downtown Savannah to 9pm on weekdays and to 10pm on weekends.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin had concerns about that change. Mostly connected to how to enforce it and how much time his officers had to spend cracking down on, and caring for teens who violate it.

“We don’t have a place to take juveniles who are found violating the law at this point,” explained Alderman Julian Miller. “So instead we are creating havoc for everyone involved by making an officer ride around the entire shurt with a juvenile they cant unload or take someplace for guidance.”

The Savannah City Council agreed, deciding not to change the ordinance. But that doesn’t mean city leaders are ignoring the problem.

“its an important ordinance,”  explained Miller. “A lot of the crimes we are seeing now are being committed by teenagers. A lot of the juveniles we come in contact with 8,10,12 years old are lacking parental guidance.”

“Its not simply an enforcement situation, its a situation where we will need to help guide our future population and we have a lot of people who need that guidance. If the parents don’t then you can’t just say oh well. then somebody has to do it.”

Many different Savannah groups will be involved in giving that guidance.

A memo from SCMPD and the City Manager outlines plans for a task force of police, criminal justice system, churches and neighborhood leaders.

That task force’s job will be to determine a better way to enforce the curfew and curb teenage crime. Specifically what to do not only to kids, but parents who violate the curfew law.

The hope is to have that task force in place by June 1.