Prince George’s Co. exec calls juvenile curfew a success, but policy’s future is unclear

Approaching what might be the last weekend of curfew enforcement for children 17 and younger, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks thanked families for helping to make it a success.

“It has been so successful,” Angela Alsobrooks said Friday, of the curfew enforcement period that expires Oct. 11. “We never thought that a curfew would cure violence, we thought that what it would do would be to help us as a community bind together and to really increase our efforts around being vigilant about where our kids are.”

Explaining that most carjackings in the county happen between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., Alsobrooks said there’s been “a dramatic decrease in the number of those cases involving juveniles.”

As of Thursday into Friday morning, police had engaged with four children breaking curfew since enforcement began last month.

Alsobrooks cited an encounter early Thursday morning as an example that might have saved lives.

Police who stopped a car being driven recklessly shortly before 1:30 a.m. Thursday on Powder Mill Road, discovered the driver was a 14-year-old boy who had taken his mother’s car without permission.

“A 14-year-old out drag racing, how dangerous and frightening is that?” Alsobrooks said. “We believe by being able to get hold of him — to get his parents involved, we may have saved his life. And we believe we saved other lives also.”

Characterizing the number of curfew violations as “very few,” Alsobrooks said it’s had the desired effect.

“What we thought would happen is —  if we sent the rest of the kids inside, the ones who remained in the street, it would give us an opportunity to more laser-like, begin to understand what was necessary to reach those kids and to reach their families. So, we would be able to collect additional information,” she said.

Alsobrooks believes the curfew also helped to alleviate peer pressure that causes some kids who would ordinarily be in the house to be out in the streets. It gave them a reason to go or stay inside, she said.

After the 30-day enforcement period expires on Tuesday, Alsobrooks said she and the police department will examine the data, determine whether the curfew is working and decide whether it would be best to continue.

“We’re not done. We know we’re far from resolving this issue. But we’re going to continue (using) every tool we have available to us,” Alsobrooks said.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up