Council Mulls Youth Curfew

City Council is prepared to consider a new teenager curfew law and legislation that will charge property owners for repeated police nuisance calls to a residence.

The city curfew applies equally to teens up to 18 years old and requires them to be under adult supervision or off the streets from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from midnight to 7 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The new curfew proposed by Councilman Mike Johnson would require 16- and 17-year-olds to be under adult supervision or off the streets from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. seven days a week. Teenagers under the age of 16 would have a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

The curfew legislation and a criminal and nuisance ordinance officially will be introduced during next week’s sunshine meeting. Johnson said the nuisance ordinance will be a benefit to law enforcement.

“This will apply to habitual offenders and will allow the city to fine the property owner for repeated police visits,” he said. “After the third police visit in one year the property owner will face a $250 fee, the fourth visit will be a $500 charge, the fifth visit will be $750, and a $1,000 charge will apply to all police visits after the fifth visit.”

“This is a way to encourage landlords to get better tenants,” said Police Chief Bill McCafferty.

Property owners will have the right to appeal the nuisance fee to the city manager.

“These proposed ordinances will send a message that we are serious about stopping crime,” Johnson said.

In other business, McCafferty reported several crimes are down so far this year from the same time period in 2013.

“We have had no murders so far this year, the calls for service are down, burglaries are down from last year as well as robberies. Calls about shots fired have increased to date but actual shots fired cases are down from a year ago. Thefts are up so far this year. The number of stolen vehicles is also on the rise, as are reported rape cases,” McCafferty said.

McCafferty said he has asked the nine candidates for patrolman positions to fill out a questionnaire so the department can conduct a background check. Chief Carlo Capaldi said 17 firefighter applicants passed the Civil Service written test for the nine job openings in his department. The nine firefighters will be hired for a two-year period with a S.A.F.E.R. grant announced earlier this year.

Mayor Domenick Mucci urged residents to attend the June 4 meeting of the city’s comprehensive plan implementation committee meeting at 9 a.m. at the Historic Fort Steuben Visitors Center.