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Ferriday juveniles ignoring curfew

FERRIDAY — Ferriday’s 10 p.m. curfew is little more than a number on a wall to some Ferriday residents.

The curfew rule applies to any Ferriday resident under 18 years old, but Ferriday Alderwoman Somer Lance said juveniles ignore the rule increasingly during the summer.

“They sleep all day and run the streets at night,” she said. “They group up in packs of six to 10, won’t get out of the street when they are in the way and keep people up at night. My kids can’t even play in the front yard because they get yelled at.”

Police chief Richard Madison said he is aware of repeated curfew violations, but has difficulty enforcing the curfew rule because of the size of the town and the number of officers on duty. Madison recommended residents call the Ferriday Police Station if they encounter a problem.

“It’s a matter of the public working with us,” Madison said. “Part of effective law enforcement is the participation of all citizens.”

Madison said parents would receive a citation if their child was caught out after the 10 p.m. curfew.

But Lance said calls to the police station aren’t enough. She also wants to establish a neighborhood watch program to monitor juveniles and has already begun talking to Ferriday residents.

“We just need to get people together and let them understand the rule,” she said. “People need to let their friends and neighbors know that this isn’t acceptable. They need to let each other know that the rule exists.”

Ferriday resident Jean Wagoner said she is in favor of establishing a watch program because curfew violations have increased in recent years.

“My last child graduated in 2007,” Wagoner said. “I would never worry about locking my door if I went somewhere, but I wouldn’t dare even think about leaving my door unlocked if I went somewhere now. Something definitely needs to be done.”

Madison also suggested the town implement a recreation program to alleviate curfew violations.

“When the pool was open, children would go swimming, get tired, go home and go to sleep,” he said. “We need to have programs to have kids entertained so they will go home and go to bed.”

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