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Baltimore City curfew being heavily enforced.


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I just found this Baltimore Sun article stating that the city is heavily enforcing its 17 and under curfew this summer and it will be enforced next summer as well, I hope this won't affect Otakon this year and next. Here's the link: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal...894,print.story

July 12, 2008

These sleepy mothers have come to retrieve their children from Baltimore's new curfew center at Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School in Barclay, open from midnight to 4 a.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday until school resumes this fall.

Overnight yesterday, 64 boys and girls - a mix of older teens with records of assault and drug possession, and little kids who'd been playing baseball behind their apartment building - were swept up by patrol officers throughout the city and deposited at the curfew center to wait for their parents.

City curfew for kids under 17 - midnight Saturday and Sunday morning and 11 p.m. other nights of the week - has been on the books since 1978. But this is the first time that curfew enforcement has moved beyond being what Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III recently described as "a de facto cab service."

Now, the city corrals the young violators in a building full of workers who want to do more. The youths are photographed and interviewed and checked in a computer database of open warrants or probation records. They're fed a boxed lunch. Then comes the call to their parents, who arrive sometimes hours later, almost always disgruntled, with identification in hand. The parents are given a primer on curfew law and the penalties they face if their children get picked up again: up to $300 and 60 days in jail.

The past two summers, the city had a similar but less inclusive curfew center at Dunbar High School. That curfew center processed 2,300 violators last year, city officials said, but it didn't offer any services or check their backgrounds. This summer and next, a $120,000 federal grant will pay for the curfew center.

Juvenile curfews have always been controversial. Police say it helps them keep crime down, but civil libertarians say it takes away a parent's discretion. In an urban setting like Baltimore, there's an extra complication: Families without air conditioning often use the outdoors as an extension of their living space. Some parents at the curfew center overnight yesterday complained that it was unfair to pick up youngsters who might be sitting outside on a hot summer night, even in the wee hours.

Police officers countered that the curfew is "basically for the safety of your kids."

"Bullets can be flying this late at night," said Officer Latanya Lewis, who arrived at 1:40 a.m. with a van of 11 boys and girls from the Northeast District.

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I think the Baltimore City code provides stipulations for reasons 17 and unders can be out though. It's not exactly a law they can apply broadly without considerations. Otherwise lil Jimmy would be picked up leavin McD's at midnight after work. :P

Edited by evilrob
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I might be totally wrong about this, but the curfew might only apply to Baltimore citizens. I would also image that congoers aged 17 or under are probably in the company of someone 18 or older who acts as de facto guardian that weekend.

I mean, it would be a bit of a debacle and a little illogical for the police to 'corral' congoers who aren't Baltimore citizens who would be for the most part ignorant to the curfew law.

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I agree, I just don't see the Baltimore Police Department doing something like picking up underage congoers coming back to their hotel from the BCC at 2am when the con closes. It just doesn't seem logical at all for several reasons unless the congoer was causing trouble somehow.

I believe this law applies more to the Baltimore locals, not to tourists. I hope all those attending the con have someone rooming with them over 21, it's just sound policy just in case.

Edited by Shineigami02
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Also additionally, I would think that were a congoer to be detained in such a manner it would be treading on grounds to open up a can of litigation. I mean, in 5 years I've never seen/heard of this happening to any attendees so I don't think it will impact upon Otakon at all.

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My sister happens to be 16, but I'm 22 and my boyfriend is 24, and she's usually always with us. I would imagine if someone under 17 is with an adult they should be a-ok.

HOWEVER, this may be a problem for younger convention goers who are going without their parents, or someone over 18. The police have no way of knowing who is, or who is not, a citizen of Baltimore during the convention. Hopefully they'll let it slide like they do everything else, but there's still that small chance they may enforce it on con goers.

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There's exceptions provided in the actual code for the curfew. For the law nerds, the minors curfew is Baltimore City Code, Article 19, Sub 34. It's Google-able.

Although this is old news now. They first started talking about this in Baltimore back in April. If it were going to be an issue for Otakon, the "powers that be" would have already discussed it, questioned it, and gotten answers back. Then distilled the answers out to the membership so we understand the new limits, if that were the case.

So it's probably not an issue for us. Just don't wander too far from the BCC and sit on street corners and hang out in front of closed businesses, and they likely won't even stop to ask you why you're out after curfew. :P

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Interesting article. That's some strict curfew law, When they bring in kids playing ball in the backyard it seems more like kidnapping. Plus I never got the point of punishing the parents instead of their kids. That kids gonna get such a beating when dad gets out of jail. :P

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Interesting article. That's some strict curfew law, When they bring in kids playing ball in the backyard it seems more like kidnapping. Plus I never got the point of punishing the parents instead of their kids. That kids gonna get such a beating when dad gets out of jail. :P

If you have a child under the age of legal majority, he or she is your responsibility, period. That is why you punish the parents for letting the kids wander at night.

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Interesting article. That's some strict curfew law, When they bring in kids playing ball in the backyard it seems more like kidnapping. Plus I never got the point of punishing the parents instead of their kids. That kids gonna get such a beating when dad gets out of jail. :P

If you have a child under the age of legal majority, he or she is your responsibility, period. That is why you punish the parents for letting the kids wander at night.

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Interesting article. That's some strict curfew law, When they bring in kids playing ball in the backyard it seems more like kidnapping. Plus I never got the point of punishing the parents instead of their kids. That kids gonna get such a beating when dad gets out of jail. :P

If you have a child under the age of legal majority, he or she is your responsibility, period. That is why you punish the parents for letting the kids wander at night.

True, it is the parents responsibility to look after their kids. I don't think it's a matter of parents letting their kids out late, most of the people in the article weren't aware that their kids were out or they were disobeying their parents' curfew. Short of chaining them down at night like Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 there isn't much they can do if their kids are hellbent on sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. At some point they have to be taught that they'll be held responsible for their own actions before too long, by the state if necessary.

As Alabaster said and I agree it is up to the parents to enforce rules for their children. Parents who will not put forth the effort to ensure that their children obeys the laws and rules within their house have no business being parents. Following the rules and laws are things that parents should teach their kids and it is not the role of the state to teach kids right and wrong.

Edited by ahreshef
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As Alabaster said and I agree it is up to the parents to enforce rules for their children. Parents who will not put forth the effort to ensure that their children obeys the laws and rules within their house have no business being parents. Following the rules and laws are things that parents should teach their kids and it is not the role of the state to teach kids right and wrong.
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I might be totally wrong about this, but the curfew might only apply to Baltimore citizens. I would also image that congoers aged 17 or under are probably in the company of someone 18 or older who acts as de facto guardian that weekend.

I mean, it would be a bit of a debacle and a little illogical for the police to 'corral' congoers who aren't Baltimore citizens who would be for the most part ignorant to the curfew law.

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It would be extremely overzealous to fear this. I'm not of the age this curfew applies to, but as a Baltimorian I can tell you the police do not and will not go out of their way to check someone's ID for walking down the street. These police are worried about drug possession, violence, and the like.

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I think this being in the media is making people think it's a new law that's never been enforced, which is comical. It's an at least 10 year old law. They've made it public that they're going to get serious about enforcing it because of the crime rate, and they've gotten federal funding to blow on prevention of juvenile crime.

BPD knows we're there, BACVA knows we're there, and the BCC knows we're there. How much more coverage could we get in regards to that? hah.

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I'll have to agree with Kaki and say it's better to be safe than sorry. Sure, if your wearing a really noticable cosplay, they might realize your here for Otakon, but if your not? If your just walking around in normal clothes how are they gonna say "Im sure they are here for the con". Maybe if your walking with people who are cosplaying.

I doubt anyone's parents need to be called at 2 in the morning by the Baltimore PD saying (your child was out after curfew). Sure the odds of it happening may be small, but it could still happen. It's better to be safe than to be sorry.

Make sure you have something on you that PROVES you are there for the con (keep your badge on after curfew so if an officer rolls up, they'll notice it)

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Believe me, I frequent Baltimore while skateboarding all hours of the night and day. You will be left alone, the police won't be asking to check your age on your Identification.
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Yeah, for the most part, the Inner Harbor is fairly safe. I can't really see the Baltimore PD really enforcing that curfew there, as it's more for the ghetto parts of town.

Not that I have anything to worry about anyway. I'm 23 and all my friends I'm going to and hanging out at the con with are of age.

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