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MoCo Council Looks At Teen Curfew Bill

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A teenager takes part in a petition drive against the proposed institution of a curfew for teens in Montgomery County.
Armando Trull
A teenager takes part in a petition drive against the proposed institution of a curfew for teens in Montgomery County.

Council members in Montgomery County, Maryland have taken their first official look at a bill that would institute a teen curfew.

County executive Isiah Leggett and police leaders have pushed hard for the curfew, and point to two incidents that occurred over the summer as proof it is needed.

The first took place over the Fourth of July weekend, when about 70 teens gathered in downtown Silver Spring. After police dispersed the larger group, fights broke out among smaller groups, with one person being stabbed. Just days later, the curfew proposal was sent to the council.

Assistant police chief Wayne Jerman supports the proposal.

"If a curfew law had been in place officers could have approached the group and said 'Folks, it's 15 minutes before curfew. You need to make your way home.' And the groups could have been sent on their way, this two and a half hour fight could have been alleviated and prevented," says Jerman.

However, several council members, such as Phil Andrews, are skeptical the curfew would have prevented the incident.

"The gathering began at 10:30 p.m., an hour and a half before the curfew would have been available," explains Andrews. "So the curfew would not have been an option until midnight on a Saturday night or a Friday night."

A vote on the curfew won't be coming for until at least November -- other hearings on the measure will be held in the meantime.

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