Idea to change curfew time for Owensboro youths resurfaces

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Some young people in the Tri-State may have to get home a little earlier in the future.

A proposal to change the curfew time for children younger than 18 has resurfaced in Owensboro. A local minister brought up the idea to city commissioners.

“We see what is going on, we see the children, we see the shootings. When is something going to be done? It’s not done, it’s when,” said DeMarcus Curry, who is a minister at Tenth Street Missionary Baptist Church, and runs the Owensboro Youth Empowerment Summit. he says having kids out as late as 1:00 AM, which is the city’s current curfew time, is not safe for them.

“Being a parent myself, parents have to take some kind of control, knowing where your kids are at all times. And you cannot let them stay out that late. You have to have some kind of control over these kids, especially the teenagers,” he said.

He brought up the idea of changing the curfew time from 1:00 AM to as early as 9:00 PM. The idea is a response to recent shootings involving juveniles, such as one last month on Holly Avenue. Curry brought the idea to city commissioners at last night’s meeting, where Mayor Tom Watson told him he liked the idea of an earlier time, but wondered about enforcement. Curry also says he’s open to other times.

“I think 1:00 AM is pretty late, 9:00 PM is pretty early, I think there’s a happy medium where they can find a better situation,” says Jessica Smithers, an Owensboro parent.

Another Owensboro group proposed changing the curfew time two years ago, but the time was kept the same. Curry says he’ll continue studying the issue, but hopes something is done sooner instead of later.

“I think having that curfew, making it early for the teens to be inside, could make a difference as far as what’s going on locally in the community,” says Curry.

(This story was originally published on September 22, 2021)

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