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County curfew considered for those under 18

Late nights on the town could become a thing of the past for the under-18 crowd in Wyoming County.

The Board of Supervisors is considering a countywide curfew for people younger than 18. Exact details, including possible curfew times, penalties involved and hours the measure could be in effect need to be worked out.

Officials and law enforcement personnel in villages recently expressed concern about youths out on the streets after 10 p.m.

District Attorney Gerald Stout discussed the matter with county leaders Thursday during the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee meeting.

Supervisors agreed to involve officials from several area agencies, including from the Wyoming County Youth Bureau, in discussion of a possible curfew.

Stout said he has asked law enforcement officials to be alert to groups of youths on streets. During warm weather, county officials said, they have seen as many as 40 youths roaming streets together.

Anne Humphrey, former Perry town supervisor and the county's public relations/human resources consultant, said villages have been reluctant to establish curfews in the past because of enforcement issues, such as whether youths or their parents should be penalized. Stout said that should not be an excuse.

"If you see two or three kids at 10 p.m., stop them," Stout said he has told law enforcement personnel. "We have to do more to make parents responsible for the acts of their children."

He said he has urged law officers to contact the parents of underaged youths found smoking or drinking.

Supervisors said a curfew would need to be written as a proposed local law if penalties for violating the curfew were put in place. The measure would then need to be recommended by the public safety committee, go before a public hearing and be voted on by the full Board of Supervisors. A curfew without penalties could be approved by a resolution of the board.

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