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Montgomery Co. Councilmember Calls For Alternative To Youth Curfew

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Teens in Montgomery County are circulating a petition to oppose the youth curfew being considered by the county council, but last week's 7-Eleven robbery flash mob -- conducted by juveniles -- has reinvigorated the curfew's supporters.
Armando Trull
Teens in Montgomery County are circulating a petition to oppose the youth curfew being considered by the county council, but last week's 7-Eleven robbery flash mob -- conducted by juveniles -- has reinvigorated the curfew's supporters.

Montgomery County Council member Phil Andrews is speaking out about his opposition to a county wide youth curfew.

A recent gang fight in downtown Silver Spring and this month's mob robbery of a convenience store in Germantown has intensified the debate over the possibility of a youth curfew in the county.

Council member Phil Andrews chairs the council's public safety committee. Instead of a curfew, Andrews favors targeting hot spots and individuals with increased law enforcement and other resources.

"Actually crime in Montgomery County has decreased, and the number of gang related incidents went down 50 percent between 2008 and 2010," Andrews says. "I see the gang fight that occurred in Silver Spring as an aberration. Sure there are gang fights from time to time, but it's not an everyday occurrence, and that's why a targeted approach is better than a permanent youth curfew."

Young people in Montgomery County have rallied opposition to the curfew, circulating a petition in recent weeks.

The public safety committee is scheduled to discuss the matter September 15. A vote on the proposed legislation is not expected before October.

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