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Mall curfew violations reported down this month
By Doug Snover

September 24, 2005

A “proactive” effort in August to reduce teen loitering at Chandler Fashion Center seems to be working, according to Chandler police.

Police issued approximately 130 citations to teens for curfew violations on three successive Fridays in August, causing an uproar among frustrated teens and some of their parents.

“Since then, we really haven’t had large masses of kids hanging out there,” said Det. Livi Kacic of the Chandler Police Public Information Office.

Curfew enforcement at the mall is now in what Kacic called “the monitoring phase.”

Curfew violators still will be cited but the Police Department is not sending special patrols to break up groups of loitering youths, she said.

Mall operators had asked Chandler police for help in controlling late-night teenagers, many of whom congregate outside the mall’s Harkins movie theater.

Ticketed teens were held in a vacant restaurant until their parents arrived. Teens were scheduled to appear in court, where they faced the possibility of fines up to $150 or mandatory community service.

Chandler Ordinance Subsection 11-1.1 makes it “unlawful for any minor under the age of sixteen (16) years to be in, about, or upon any place in the City away from the property where the youth resides between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day.” Curfew for teens 16-17 years old begins at midnight.

Parents can also be found guilty.

Under Subsection 11-1.1, it also is “unlawful for a parent or guardian of a minor to knowingly permit, or by insufficient control, allow a minor to violate subsection 11-1.1.”

Curfew violation is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor and “designated an incorrigible offense for minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.” The Chandler law makes exceptions for emergencies and teens “going to or returning home from an employment activity without any detour or stop by the most direct route.”

Signs were posted in the mall, and police say they warned as the curfew approached.

The Chandler Mayor's Youth Commission is considering possible alternatives to late-night teen loitering outside Chandler Fashion Center. Its recommendations are expected next month.

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