In the week since police in Prince George’s County, Maryland, have been enforcing a youth curfew, officials say they have documented just one violation.
An email update Friday morning from County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said police encountered a 16-year-old out after the 10 p.m. curfew on Monday. Alsobrooks said the teen was in a car with another person who had a gun, and that person was arrested. No further details were provided.
The teen girl was taken home by officers and a written warning was mailed to her guardians, Alsobrooks said.
“As we enter the second weekend of this curfew, I want to reiterate that this measure is not intended to be punitive to young people,” Alsobrooks said in the message. “It does require parents and guardians, who are responsible for them, to step up and protect our youth ages 16 and under.”
Alsobrooks shared with reporters Friday afternoon another interaction police faced.
“We received a call and there was an altercation and a mother was there with her son, and she was trying to enforce the curfew and had a little difficulty,” Alsobrooks said. The mother called the police who came and were able to help.
“That’s what I’ve seen in parents. They are doing their best, and we want to be able to help them,” she said, adding her thanks to the parents who “jumped in with us.”
Alsobrooks announced the 30-day curfew earlier this month amid a marked increase in crime carried out by juveniles, including carjackings. The curfew requires young people under 17 to be off the streets after 10 p.m. on weeknights and by 11:59 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
While the move has been criticized by some who question the effectiveness of a youth curfew, Alsobrooks has repeatedly defended the move as a way to keep young people safe.
“I am not dealing in theory, I am acting as the leader of this community,” Alsobrooks said last week.
Parents and guardians of young people who violate the curfew will be given warnings, and escalating fines are possible with repeat violators — up to $250 per instance.
The curfew was already on the books in Maryland law but has not been strictly enforced since the mid-1990s.
In her email update Friday, Alsobrooks also pointed to expanded hours and additional weekend activities at several of the county’s recreation centers. See the full list below.
The areas are “hot spots” Alsobrooks said, areas where she said has seen a greater concentration of crime. She said the county has increased resources in those areas, including mental health and social services.
WTOP’s Kyle Cooper contributed to this report.