Changes are coming to Mesquite’s juvenile curfew ordinance.
The Mesquite City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to repeal and replace the section creating offenses for minors, parents and guardians of minors as well as business establishments who allow children out between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays and between midnight and 6 a.m. on weekends.
The ordinance will allow waivers and defenses for minors out past curfew as it relates to work, emergencies, on an errand directed by a parent or guardian, school events and other conditions.
“There is potential for punitive sanctions, but usually an officer will take the child home and deliver them to their parents and tell them what the law is,” Interim Police Chief Faaborg said. “In 2021, we’ve issued 30 citations for an egregious violation or committing some other mischief.”
Faaborg said it’s more about keeping kids safe than wanting to take enforcement action against families.
“Juveniles may not know we have a curfew, and parents may not be aware of that,” Councilmember B.W. Smith said
To educate residents on the law, the police department plans to send out announcements via social media.
“We generally look for opportunities to educate people rather than enforce the ordinance,” Faaborg said.