Last night the New Haven Board of Aldermen decided not to amend the Youth Curfew and repeal the one we have currently on the books (from circa 1920).
The decision was made because after hearing testimony from:
- The Chief of Police that it would be hard to enforce
- Cooperation Council that it would be possibly illegal (the US District Court did rule a similar ordinance in Vernon CT unconstitutional)
- From the children themselves that we would be punishing everyone for the crimes of the few. As well as that this would further hurt the relationship the police have with the kids.
In addition the hearings created a catalyst for dialog of many people fro all sides of the issues. Culminating in some big hitters in the New Haven community putting up some real money (see the new haven independent story here http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2007/04/with_curfew_dea.php for more details). This got the executive branch to work harder to set something up for this summer for the kids - 9 schools are going to be open - we are going to have Street Outreach Workers work with the 10% of kids who are the problem. These are the kids in gangs, staying out late, etc.
I agree with the other Alders, who brought out last night:
We can not loose the momentum we have created and need to stay on top of the executive branch to make sure they are doing what needs to be done.
Let's see what happens.