COEYMANS — The Coeymans Town and Ravena Village boards met on Monday, Jan. 13 to discuss ideas like setting up a curfew for children every night and possible fines for their parents if that curfew is violated.
Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh said these are just ideas for now, that nothing has been passed, and they were not the only topics discussed during the meeting.
Saying that the meeting was the first time discussion on a potential curfew took place, McHugh said, “We’re really just in the early stages of it and we’re primarily looking at keeping teens aged 15 and younger off the streets after 9 p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays and after 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. We’re also trying to figure it all out as both boards felt that the town and village will need to pass a similar or the same law for a curfew to go into effect.”
William J. Misuraca, Ravena’s mayor, similarly said discussions are all “very much in its infancy.” He explained that the idea of a curfew stemmed from how across Ravena and Coeymans, young children, generally aged 12 through 15, are often out on the streets late at night and in the early morning.
“They’ve been causing chaos and we had a rough summer last year with vandalism and thefts,” Misuraca said. “A curfew is just one of many options to try to address that. The kids come and go in phases but right now, I put 90 percent of the blame on poor parenting. There just happens to be a larger-than-normal number of parents that quite frankly don’t care about what their kids are doing out.”
McHugh chimed in, saying a curfew could help discourage children and teens from staying outside late at night, as well as limit fights in the streets. The most recent example, he brought up, was how some teens allegedly caused unrest on Main Street in Ravena on Thursday, Jan. 2 between 9 and 10:10 p.m.
“A curfew is certainly not the only answer to the problem but it might be one part of the puzzle to address that,”McHugh said. “Also, teens and kids typically stay out late in the warmer months, especially summer, but not as much in winter, though.”
Both Misacura and McHugh said a potential curfew would not apply to teenagers who need to be outside the house late at night or early in the morning, like for their jobs or school-related events.
Both men also said there may be monetary fines to parents if their children are caught violating the curfew, if it passes to law. While Misuraca said impacting parents’ pocketbooks would get their attention, McHugh said it would help include parents in the potential law. However, both agreed that it is still too early to determine specific details like how much fines would be, if they would increase if curfew violations continue and more.