Answer Man: It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?

December 15, 2018

I read in the paper the other day that some joy-riding teenagers were charged with curfew violations. What are the curfew restrictions in Rochester? — Too Late Nate

Dear Too Late,

Curfew or not, the Answer Man is always at the beck and call of readers of the Post Bulletin because information knows no time. (It also helps that the Answer Man is ageless and not “particularly susceptible to participate in unlawful activities.”)

In August, the city council readopted the 1993 ordinance, which begins as follows:

“The City of Rochester highly values the safety and welfare of its minors. The Common Council finds that the physical, psychological and moral well being of the City’s minors is threatened by increasing street crime. It is recognized that during the late night and early morning hours, minors in public places are particularly susceptible to participate in unlawful activities and are particularly vulnerable to become victims of older perpetrators of crime. This chapter is the Council’s chosen method to satisfy its obligation to provide for the protection of minors.”

If you have a few moments, I recommend reading the entire ordinance ( Chapter 85A. Curfew.) It has some interesting views of the world. See my column online for the weblink.

For those who are 16 and 17 years old, curfew is from midnight to 5 a.m. For those younger than 16, curfew is from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Youths are allowed to be out of their homes betwixt those hours only if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Like every rule, there are a number of exceptions, including so-called emergency errands and school activities.

When the City Council was discussing readopting the curfew, Rochester city council member Michael Wojcik posted some data on his Facebook page about the number of citations. Rochester Police issued a total of 46 curfew citations between Jan. 1, 2017, and Aug. 1, 2018. Of those citations, 39 were a result of police being dispatched to respond to an incident, according to the data.

“In no situation was any juvenile cited for curfew without parent request or during the investigation of another crime,” the data reported. “7 parents specifically requested that their child be cited. The remaining 39 were cited for curfew as a result of police contact during the investigation of a separate crime.”

During that same time period, 92 juveniles in 48 incidents were verbally warned for curfew violations.

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