But that does not mean they should be staying out on the street later.
Police Chief Joe Treviño said the city has a curfew for anyone under the age of 17.
Since the City Council passed a curfew ordinance in 1986, it has been a misdemeanor for anyone under the age of 17 to “loiter on any public street, alley, park, vacant lot or other unsupervised place where the public has access between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays.”
Also, the curfew prohibits the same activities on weekends between midnight and 7 a.m.
The curfew does not pertain to juveniles who are out during those hours in the company of an adult or guardian.
The chief warned parents that the juvenile will not be the only one in trouble for violating the ordinance. It also is unlawful for a parent to allow a child under the age of 17 to be out during those hours.
The definition of “loitering” includes “loafing, standing idly by, walking, driving or riding aimlessly without a purpose.”
When a police officer stops a curfew violator, he has a choice of either detaining the teen or issuing a citation.
Violating the ordinance could lead to a fine of as much as $200 in municipal court.
Treviño said the curfew has remained in effect all these years because the number of vehicle burglaries and vandalism incidents increases during summer months. The curfew is the best tool city officers have for preventing those incidents.
Treviño also warned parents to avoid leaving children or pets unattended in parked cars during the hot summer months.
It takes only minutes for the temperature in a parked vehicle to reach dangerous levels.
“We would hate to have someone or a pet injured or killed from being left in a hot car,” Treviño said.
The chief reminded parents that a local woman was charged with a felony after leaving a child unattended in a car parked at the H-E-B Food Store not long ago.
“We get complaints of people doing that all the time,” the chief said.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.