Collins has issued a curfew that is effective now.
“Do to the rise in criminal activity involving juveniles, we will enforce this to the letter,” Police Chief Joey Ponder said. “We’re asking all parents to cooperate with us.”
The Collins Board of Alderman voted unanimously to pass the ordinance during their regular meeting held on Tuesday, July 16, and the full text is published as a legal notice in this week’s edition of The News-Commercial.
According to the ordinance, everyone under 18 years old shall not be in public after 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday nights and midnight Saturday and Sunday mornings. The curfew ends at 6 a.m. every day. This includes any public street, highway, park, vacant lot or any public place within Collins.
The ordinance also makes it unlawful for a parent (or other legal guardian) to permit a juvenile to break the curfew.
Violations can begin with a warning, but fees can add up very quickly with fines up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail. After the second violation, the youth court becomes involved.
There are some exceptions. Of course, underage people with their parents is exempt at any time from the curfew. Also, if a minor is legally employed, they have 30 minutes before or after work to travel directly between their place of employment and home; however, the juvenile must have proof in writing from the employer.
Minors also have 30 minutes to get home following a school activity or religious activity. Volunteer duties also count, along with leaving a place of public entertainment, but there’s a catch:
“If the event is not commercial in nature or does not have a fixed, publicly known time at which it will or does end, the sponsoring organization must register the event with the Chief of Police of the City of Collins, Mississippi Collins Police Department (or his assigned representative) at least 24 hours in advance, informing the Police Department of the time such event is scheduled to begin, the place at which it shall be held, the time at which it shall end and the name of the sponsoring organization,” the ordinance reads.