Police remind parents about children's curfews - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Police remind parents about children's curfews

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Curfew rules vary depending on age of child Curfew rules vary depending on age of child
Summer break is here for students and that means expect to see a lot more children out and about. While the kids are out enjoying themselves, parents have to remember there is a curfew for Michiana children.

The curfew is something that's welcomed by one Mishawaka mother. Colleen Waldron has an 11-year-old, 14-year-old, and 16-year-old. She says the curfew brings her some peace of mind. "It's comforting to know that your children are inside whether there at a friend's house they're inside, or at your own home, that they're being watched by adults," Waldron said.

Waldron was at Beutter Park with her 11-year-old daughter Paige Waldron. Paige says she's excited summer break is here and looking forward to getting out. "I like hanging out with my friends," Paige said.

Paige will be able to hang out with her friends, but they can't be out alone after 11:00pm or before 5:00am. This is a part of Mishawaka's curfew code. Mishawaka Police Lieutenant Tim Williams says the main purpose of the curfew is to protect children. "We have it because we want to keep our community safe and we want to have the future of our community safe and that's our youth," Lt. Williams said.

For children 15, 16, and 17-years-old the times change. These kids cannot be out after 1:00am on Saturdays and Sundays and 11:00pm every other night. "They can't just go with Tommy and say 'hey let's go do something at three o' clock in the morning' that's something they can't do," Lt. Williams said.

Williams wants to remind parents and children the curfew is in effect all year long, it just becomes more important as school is out. Again, he wants to enforce this curfew for the safety of the children. "Sometimes crimes go up in the evening hours and we don't want them out there during that time. If something does happen, it's not going to affect their children if they're at home," Lt. Williams said.

The curfew only applies to children who are out without a parent or guardian. Paige has a message for fellow children. "Just obey the rules," Paige said.

There are exceptions to the curfew. If a child is coming back from a school sanctioned event or a job and have a work permit to prove it, the child will not be in trouble. If a child is caught breaking curfew, there is a $25 fine and the police will take the child back home. The fine increases if the child is caught again.

The curfew rules for Elkhart and South Bend are available here.
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