Dozens of people joined with the Tulsa Police Saturday to come up with solutions on how to break the cycle of crime, violence and poverty on the north side. Many say it not only begins at home, but it begins with kids staying home after midnight. The News On 6â€™s Joshua Brakhage reports that's why more money and more officers are going toward curbing curfew violations.
"Nothing really good happens after 12 midnight," said Tulsa Police Officer Andrew Zaferes.
Officer Andrew Zaferes has to teach that lesson to a group of kids out later than they should be, by giving them a citation.
"They really don't have much to do after 12 o'clock, so they start thinking of the wrong thing to do,â€ Zaferes said. â€œA lot of times, when a group of teenagers gets together, one's gotta show off in front of the other, they start thinking about some not so right things to do."
Police say citations are also for their own safety. Kids can put themselves in dangerous situations by being out after midnight. A Tulsa memorial is proof of that, 12-year-old Leah Fuqua and 16-year-old Deriko Ross were gunned down in a North Tulsa neighborhood last week. Now residents are banding together to keep kids safe, and they're asking teens to be part of the solution.
"It's not just old people talking about what the young people are doing. We actually had young people here to help us with their perspective on the issue," Interim Tulsa Police Chief David Bostrom said.
The police department brought in a nationwide facilitation to get at the heart of the problem. The group decided kids don't just need programs to keep them out of trouble, but parents need to know how to access programs.
Back on patrol, Officer Zaferes says parents have to get involved, one way or the other, even if they're chaperoning their tardy teens to court.
"By fining them and having the parents come in to court with the child, then that's going to kinda wake the parent up and say, you know what, I've got to take responsibility for my children," said Officer Zaferes.
Police say the best part of this curfew crackdown is that it frees patrol officers up to target hotspots for crime, instead of just writing citations for teenagers out after midnight. Lots of folks say they're just not aware of the curfew. It's from midnight to 6 a.m. on the weekends, and starts at 11 p.m. during the week.
Watch the video: Curfew Crackdown
7/25/2007 Police Step Up Curfew Enforcement After Death Of Two Teens