LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg City leaders are moving forward with a curfew that will start on Friday.
The new curfew will be enforced from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day. The idea for the curfew was brought up at a previous council meeting following the shooting of 6-year-old Kingston Campbell.
Since Campbell’s tragic death, various council members have been looking at ways to try and curb violence involving kids and teens.
At a work session Tuesday, the council heard from the city manager along with the police chief about the proposed curfew.
Lynchburg Police Chief, Ryan Zuidema, says some of the languages in the ordinance needed to be changed so his officers can use their discretion when it comes to enforcing the curfew.
“Shall does not give an officer any discretion which means we will lock up and arrest every juvenile that is out between 11 and 5 period if they’re not within one of these exceptions. That is not what I think we need to be doing as a police department or as a community,” Zuidema said.
Council decided to move the ordinance to their regular session later Tuesday evening.
Mayor Stephanie Reed pleaded with people in attendance and those watching online saying the curfew is a tool and not an overall solution to violence in the city.
”What we do not want is for us to put this curfew out and then everybody expect ‘Oh crime is just going to stop and we’re going to be able to get all the bad guys ... all the youth that are committing these crimes in the city are just going to go away,” Reed said.
The curfew will only be in effect until December 1. Council and law enforcement hope within the period they can gather enough data to see if enforcing the curfew actually helps with violence.
The penalty for violating the curfew is a class four misdemeanor which can result in a $250 fine.