Do Curfews Work? Or Is It Just A Bunch Of BS?

We’ve seen this movie before. Violence in the streets demands action–from parents, neighbors, friends–urging city decision makers to do something. The shooting death of 14-year-old Justin Thompson has the City Council considering a curfew, per city ordinance, from 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from midnight on weekends, for kids under the age of 16.

Calls for a city curfew go back 20 years to the days of the late Alvin Penn who as a city and state legislator urged its passage in response to record-breaking violent crime. The violent crime rate today isn’t what it was 20 years ago, but when a 14 year old is blown away the reaction demands that this cannot happen again.

If the city imposes a curfew can it be reasonably enforced? Send the kid home; what then when he violates the curfew again? Does a curfew press parents into action to guard their kids’ safety? But what about the kids that come from one-parent or no-parent homes?

What’s the harm in a curfew? What say you?



  1. Great, now the police will be the “children police,” and caretakers. Where will this sit in the priority of police response? It’s great the City has so many great things for children and teenagers do after hours, let’s see we have …, oh my bad this is about Bridgeport, oh well.

  2. *** It’s a start, even though actually enforcing it in Bpt might be easier said than done, no? Also increase and step up the gang task force operations and place a curfew on proven known gang members as well to send a message! ***

  3. It’s always a bunch of BS. These bunch of busy shooters aren’t as good as those really busy shooters of the ’90s. They don’t make ’em like they used to!
    What’s the plan for when the first person is killed during curfew hours and how are we supposed to know if the shooters aren’t teenagers if or when the shooting is unsolved?
    Why is it when someone is shot and killed it’s news, but when the Bridgeport Police Department takes a gun off the street (preventing a future shooting), we don’t hear shit about it. I’ve already lost count of how many guns I’ve personally seen confiscated this past month alone. The only thing that is going to keep the gun violence to a minimum is the continued effort of the BPD in getting the guns before they are used.

  4. Listen, what you parents and guardians of these angels need to understand is children will imitate what they see and being exposed to society’s ills won’t help, hug your kid and hold them and praise them, they need this feeling of acceptance and if you don’t they will retaliate by whatever means they can including being out late at night and hanging with others who are experiencing the same and not knowing right from wrong they come up with the wrong answer. Take the time to discover your child and help them to excel based on their strengths, get them involved in socializing with children their own age like Boy&Girl Scouts, CYO, PAL and others too many to mention and get them mentored with people who have gotten out of the negative environment that ends up killing your baby into productive adult lives so you can show off your efforts and be proud of them. Get your house in order and move on to a better life, ’cause anything is better than what you have now. Reach out to your higher power or belief and ask for help, no one can do this alone, Lord only knows. You too can become a champion in life! Good Luck and God Bless everyone!

  5. This is another feel-good ordinance that can’t be enforced. We have only 21 street cops on patrol per shift. The PD no longer responds to vandalism reports, they don’t respond to hit and run accidents and there are a bunch of other crimes that are victimless they don’t respond to, All you get is an incident number and then you are told to go to the PD for a report.
    Pretty soon the PD will only respond to murders because they will be busy chasing down curfew-breaking teenagers. It’s pure bullshit.
    It’s the parents’ responsibility to make sure their kids are home at a decent hour. Society can’t take over basic parental responsibility. Sure, single parents have it tough and most do a heroic job in raising their kids but those who don’t will not be helped by this change in enforcement.
    If you are going to enforce the curfew then when you find a kid out after curfew arrest the parent(s), then maybe just maybe they the parents will get the message.

  6. Until I was 17 yrs old finishing high school my mother then widowed living near PT had a curfew if I wasn’t working or at football or baseball related activity. When the street lights were on for me and my younger sister be home or else. No rule breaking or you got your ass whipped she’d rather hurt you than someone else do it.

  7. Lennie, did Dutch Schultz once give the Bridgeport cops a curfew?

    The gangster Arthur Flagenheimer, more commonly known as “Dutch Schultz,” came to Bridgeport April 30, 1935.
    Schultz and his bodyguard, Lulu Rosenkrantz, occupied the fourth floor suite at the Stratfield Hotel on Main Street downtown.
    Schultz was interviewed by local reporters in the suite. One reporter said that Schultz gave the interview “more gracefully and with more poise than some of the [sic] persons in less exciting professions than his.”
    Dutch Schultz had a long criminal history, including overseeing a successful bootlegging operation. During the Prohibition years, his selling of illegal liquor was widespread.
    Even in 1933 at the end of Prohibition, his control of the crime racket in New York City was notorious.
    Schultz was indicted in 1933 for tax evasion. He was accused of not filing tax returns for 1929, 1930 and 1931. By this time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover named Schultz “Public Enemy No. 1.”
    In November 1934, Schultz surrendered to authorities, and although he tried to pay his taxes, the government put him on trial on April 16, 1935 in Syracuse, New York. A judge dismissed the jury on April 29 when they became hopelessly deadlocked.
    Schultz showed up in Bridgeport two days later. While city residents might have had visions of gangland street fights in front of the Stratfield Hotel, Schultz told reporters that “He was resting here,” and he “Had no worry.”
    Although Schultz was not known for his wardrobe, and was once described by Lucky Luciano as a “guy with a couple of million bucks who dressed like a pig,” a Bridgeport reporter said Schultz was tastefully dressed in “various shades of blue, except for his shoes.”
    One socialite told the New York Sun that “My dear Arthur was the answer to a hostess’ prayer. When it became known that he was invited to your party, you had nothing to worry about. Everyone came … and really, he was charming. It was hard to believe all those horrid stories.”
    Schultz rode horseback in Fairfield, went to the movies, and hung around in front of the Stratfield Hotel watching passersby with his friends.
    The Bridgeport Herald reported that he would often invite women upstairs to his suite to have a drink with him. One young lady told a reporter that “if news leaked out that I even talked to Schultz, my family would kill me. And my boyfriend would break my neck. I just wanted to see him for the thrill of it.”
    “I was convinced that he was just a bum who made a lot of money easy,” the woman continued. “We never did anything out of the way,” she said, “There was always a lot of people around when I saw him. We kidded a lot. He was plenty funny. Never nasty although he liked to slap me in the darndest places.”
    Schultz said of his stay in Bridgeport, “I’ve been treated very kindly, and have met some very lovely people.”
    Then Mayor, Jasper McLevy said, “As long as Schultz behaves himself, he won’t be bothered in Bridgeport.”
    On September 24, 1935, Schultz left Bridgeport. One month later, Dutch Schultz was gunned down in a tavern in Newark, New Jersey. He died 22 hours later.

  8. 21 cops patrolling the city is ludicrous. The bad people take control at night because they know the chances of getting caught are non-existent.

    How’s the investigation going on into that poor boy’s murder? Any suspects in custody yet?


    How come?

    We must have a lousy police force.

    The answer is not putting in a curfew. The real answer is a demonstrated police presence.

  9. There is a curfew for youth that is already on the books. It’s not enforced. What needs to be enforced is parents stepping up and taking responsibility for raising their children. But that won’t be enforced either.

  10. These gangs are enveloped in their own culture and some minority communities are too insular. FUBU has its place but it’s time to start reaching across, if you will. Whoever wrote in this blog that minority kids, many times, cannot go to the mall or anywhere else without their gang with them, hit the nail right on the head. Reaching across ethnic and racial barriers works both ways.


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