Bibb County commissioners Tuesday said they are willing to consider a curfew ordinance coordinated with Macon officials, but said Tuesday that any curfew problem wouldn’t cure youth violence.
“It’s a much deeper problem than the curfew problem’s going to fix for itself,” Commission Chairman Sam Hart said.
Commissioner Elmo Richardson agreed, saying, “I don’t think a curfew in itself is really going to fix anything.”
Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena said his officers now use a statewide curfew law, which prohibits 16-year-olds from being out after midnight. Broader curfews would require more officers’ time and jail space, and the sheriff’s office is understaffed as it is, he said.
Commissioner Joe Allen said he wanted to find ways to hold parents more responsible for children who violate the curfew laws.
County officials will continue discussing curfew proposals with city officials.
Chief Deputy David Davis said the state law has generally been adequate enough. Davis said the only recent shooting that might have been affected by some curfew ordinances would have been the one at a Sweet 16 birthday party.
In that case, Arquentris Fountain, 16, later died of his wounds after being shot in the head at about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 27. Robreon Lee was charged with Fountain’s murder and two counts of aggravated assault several days before his 17th birthday.
Davis said most curfew proposals would have exceptions for birthday parties and other events with adult supervision.
Modena said Tuesday he’s more than 20 people short of a full staff, and doesn’t want to crowd a county jail that, before an expansion, was under a federal court order.
“I would be worried about us loading up a bunch of cells up there and putting us into overcrowding,” Modena said.
Macon Mayor Robert Reichert and Police Chief Mike Burns are talking about changing the city’s curfew ordinance, but no firm proposals have been made.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.