NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A new curfew for children under 18 is now in effect in New Smyrna Beach.
The New Smyrna Beach City Commission approved the ordinance Tuesday that applies a year-round curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and federal holidays.
“It gives us an important tool to disperse the crowd and say ‘OK, it’s 11 o’clock and it’s time to go back home,’” interim police Chief Eric Feldman said.
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Feldman said New Smyrna Beach has become “a large destination town for youth,” which police are OK with, but it comes with other factors.
City officials said that the curfew was aimed at curbing an increase in juvenile crime at night, especially during holidays as more youth from across Central Florida travel to the city.
“We’re applying a combination of technology and additional resources to really concentrate on any holiday week or weekend that draws a lot of youth into town,” Feldman said.
Feldman said certain situations will exempt teens from the consequences of the curfew, which could lead to a $50 fine.
“If you’re a youth and you’re going to and from school, work, you’re on an errand your parents sent you on, you’re responding to an emergency or going to church, all of those things are written in there,” he said.
With spring break coming up, Feldman said the department is prepared to have help from other police departments.
“Instead of it being reactionary you’re going to see what I call static law enforcement. There’s just police standing on corners on Flagler Avenue and in spots we saw the youth gravitating to do things they shouldn’t be doing,” he said.
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