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Published: Monday, 7/7/2008

Rossford mulls curfew modeled after Toledo's

BY MEREDITH BYERS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Rossford City Council is considering a curfew as residents' concerns about noise, gangs, and vandalism escalate.

After hearing from residents at last week's City Council safety committee meeting, members requested an ordinance to be presented at tonight's council meeting.

The proposed ordinance, which is modeled on Toledo's curfew, specifies limits by age.

Children under 11 must not be on any street, alley, park, sidewalk, or other public place without a parent or legal guardian between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Youth 11 to 16 may be out until 11 p.m., while those 16 to 18 may be out until midnight.

The ordinance states that anyone violating the curfew is "unruly, neglected, dependent, and/or a child without proper parental care."

Parents, lawful guardians, or any other adult who allows a child to violate curfew is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor.

Tonight's meeting is at 6:30 in the Rossford Municipal Building.

City Administrator Ed Ciecka said council likely would vote on the ordinance next Monday.

Earlier this month, council heard several complaints from residents about vandalism, gangs, threats of violence, and foul language. The residents said a greater police presence is necessary.

Sgt. Todd Kitzler, Rossford's acting police chief, said the police department responded to the concerns, mostly in the Oak, Maple, and Walnut street areas.

"We've stepped up patrols in that area and things have calmed down over the last couple weeks," he said.

Sergeant Kitzler said the department made a few arrests, including one last week for assault. He said he liked the curfew idea.

"It would be a good tool for the law enforcement because it would help us identify kids that are out at early hours in the morning," he said. "If there's a curfew, we can find out what they're doing."

Toledo Police Deputy Chief Derrick Diggs said he's found the city's curfew effective. "It's worked well for us. It helps keep young folks off the streets."

Contact Meredith Byers at:

mbyers@theblade.com

or 419-724-6101.



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