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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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A curfew for minors in Oregon will be on the General Election ballot on November 8.

Oregon City Council on Monday voted 5-2 against the curfew for a second time. On March 21, council voted 5-2 against the curfew. Councilwomen Sandy Bihn and Kathleen Pollauf voted in favor of the curfew both times.

The curfew would prohibit all minors from being in any public place between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., with some exceptions. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor. Minors who would violate the provisions of the curfew would be dealt with in accordance with Juvenile Court law and procedure. Any parent, guardian or other adult having the legal care and custody of minors violating the curfew will be fined $150 for each offense.

Following the March 21 council meeting, block watch groups, who have been pushing for the curfew since last year, circulated petitions to get the initiative on the ballot. The completed petitions were submitted to the Lucas County Board of Elections, where they were certified as valid. The required number of valid signatures needed was 1,063. The number of valid signatures verified by the board of elections was 1,370.

As per the city charter, the proposal went before Oregon City Council for another vote, which occurred on July 25. Following the 5-2 vote, council voted unanimously to authorize the clerk of council to forward a copy of the ordinance to the board of elections so that the initiative could be placed on the November ballot.

Members of block watch groups had promoted the curfew at two Safety Committee meetings. They believe it is needed to deter juvenile crime in their neighborhoods

In response, police have beefed up road patrols in those areas, and have posted signs that restrict attendance at some parks.

Supporters of the curfew hope it will deter such crimes as loitering, ransacking vehicles, theft, fighting, vandalism, trespassing, littering, congregating on street corners, parks and yards, egging vehicles and houses, and toilet papering. Areas that are having issues include neighborhoods off Starr, Navarre, Woodville, Wheeling, Pickle and Coy.

The curfew has the support of Oregon’s police unions, including the Oregon F.O.P. Command Officer’s Union and the Oregon Police Patrolman’s Association.

Mayor Mike Seferian, who opposes the curfew, said he doesn’t believe it would reduce juvenile crime. He also said a curfew would punish youths who are not doing anything wrong.

“I tend to believe it will have little effect on break-ins and whatever crimes are going on.”

Surrounding communities that have a curfew for minors include Northwood, Toledo, Genoa, Pemberville, Walbridge, Rossford, Port Clinton and Sandusky.

 

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