Ascension Parish deputies will enforce underage curfew to help deter recent spike in crime

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POSTED: Monday, July 29, 2013 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 9:01am

An old curfew law is getting a new attention. The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office wants to keep underage kids off the streets at night.

The underage curfew ordinance has been in effect for a few years but with the recent spike in crime, sheriffs deputies will be enforcing this ordinance and hold the parents accountable.

"My little nephew, he got into it,” said Donaldsonville resident Earnest Batiste. “It was with the little guy that got killed in the projects."

Earnest Batiste has seen first hand what can happen when young kids are out and about late at night. He says with peer pressure and boredom, nothing good can come from it.

“There's a price to pay when you are out there on the streets late and you're acting hardcore and want to participate in crimes that would happen," said Batiste.

The Sheriff’s Office is working double time to try and nip the problem in the bud, starting with the youth.

"I think the curfew is good and I agree with it," noted Batiste.

"With the curfew being a addressed, I think it’s a good idea," said Donaldsonville resident, Turner Jackson.

This curfew has been in the books for years.

“They would have to care for this minor child until they can locate the parents,” said Donaldsonville Mayor, Leroy Sullivan.

But now there's a change. Parents will have to show up to get their kid or pay the price.

If the parents don't pick up their children from the municipal building the parent will be sent to the Ascension Parish Jail. No matter the age, this enforcement will be an eye opener for not only the kids, but more importantly for their parents.

"Keep your kids in and know where your kids are," said Batiste.

Mayor Sullivan says he’s ready to see Donaldsonville looked at in a different light.

"It will help to deter some of these crimes, so I think the Sheriff’s Office is trying to be positive and proactive."

The Sheriff's Office told NBC33 this is something they will strictly enforce for about a month. They say parents will only go to jail if they don't answer or just don't show up to pick up their child. If this is the case, both parents and child will be cited.

The curfew applies to children 17 and under. They need to be home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m Sunday through Thursday and weekends 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

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