By Sonya Campbell
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON - A curfew continues for residents age 17 and younger, after the City Council approved a three-year extension Tuesday night.
Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis told the council continuing the curfew ordinance would provide a vital tool in the department's ongoing efforts to reduce crime and said one of the greatest benefits has been the deterrent effects.
"It works," he said.
During the past three years, police have issued one citation and six warnings.
Those found in violation of curfew face a warning and their parents will be notified in writing.
A second offense yields a citation and a letter to the minor's parents.
Both the minor and their parents are charged and have to go to court for a third violation. The penalty for a Class C misdemeanor is a fine of $50 to $500 or community service.
Curfew hours are 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Exceptions include the following:
Youths accompanied by a parent or someone over age 21 with parent approval.
School, religious, government or employment activity.
At home or adjacent neighbor's house.
Directed by parents to run an errand for them.
Exercise of 1st or 14th Amendments.
Heading directly home from an activity that the minor left for prior to the curfew time.
Ellis told the council the city's Youth Advisory Commission unanimously recommended the curfew's extension.
City officials originally adopted the curfew ordinance in 1993. The next review will be in 2014.
Contact Sonya Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7557.