Local lawmakers in Baltimore are reportedly backing an effort to tighten the city’s curfew, which could require children younger than 14 to be off streets by 9 p.m.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Councilman Brandon Scott introduced a bill on Monday that would abolish the city's midnight curfew for children and teens and set a staggered deadline for youths to be indoors based on age and time of year.
Scott said the city’s current curfew, which was established two decades ago, fails to distinguish between an infant or teenager and allows youngsters to stay outside too late.
"If their parent was out there with them, OK. But they're 8-year-olds, and there is no adult anywhere in sight," Scott said. "Somebody could come up and snatch one of them and they'd be gone. Gone. And then what are we going to do? There are so many things that can happen to young kids who are out late without supervision."
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and Council President Bernard Young said they supported Scott's proposal and pledged to work with him to strengthen the curfew law.
"Anything we can do, any measure that we can investigate to keep our young people safer, I support," Rawlings-Blake told the newspaper. "The councilman is a vigorous advocate for public safety, particularly when it comes to young people. I look forward to working with him and providing any assistance we can give through this process."