OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- Gunshots and assaults have happened too often recently in Oktibbeha County, and the suspects have been juveniles. All of the teenagers aren’t from Oktibbeha County or Starkville, but leaders want to make sure teens are home and the community is safe.
A curfew could very well go into effect for those that are 18 years old and younger; though a decision hasn’t been made yet, a curfew will keep teens off of the streets. Having a curfew is something most teens dislike, but when it comes to safety; county leaders want to set boundaries.
“It’s going to be a tool that we can use to help our law enforcement to be able to monitor some of the activity that takes place after dark around here in the county,” said Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors member Marvell Howard.
Putting a stop to violent disputes among teenagers is the Sheriff’s Department’s goal.
“The sheriff’s department sees a need for us to have a curfew apparently they’ve seen some activity that needs to be addressed. Youth curfew I believe will address some of those needs that we have with some of our young people out in the county,” said Oktibbeha County Board of supervisors president Joes Williams.
Williams said although the curfew still must go to a vote, there are already talks of consequences if a teen is out past their alloted time.
“The first offense will be a 25 dollar fine and up to 100 dollars. Of course, that fine is going to increase by every offense after that,” said Williams.
The board of supervisors will host a public hearing on June 7, 2021, about the curfew. Board members said the community will have an opportunity to find out more at that time.
“Ask questions and gather information on exactly how this curfew will work, who will be responsible, how much responsibility the parent or guardian will have going forward with this curfew,” said Howard.
“They’ll get an opportunity to learn what to expect and an opportunity to put some input into their feelings about juvenile curfew and how they are to address this situation,” said Williams.
If the plan passes the curfew will go into effect for grade school kids 18 and younger. They will have to be home from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and for Friday and Saturday they will have to be in by midnight until 6 a.m.