|For Immediate Release
July 31, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
LATE NIGHT CURFEW SWEEPS IN GANG INJUNCTION NEIGHBORHOODS AND BLOCK AT ORANGE CONDUCTED IN NEW ORANGE
LAW ENFORCEMENT GANG PREVENTION PROGRAM
ORANGE – A multi-agency law enforcement team conducted late night sweeps aimed at enforcing curfew for minors in the City of Orange last night in an ongoing gang prevention effort. These curfew sweeps are the first to be conducted by the newly formed Orange Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (GRIP). GRIP, first formed in Anaheim, identifies at-risk youth and aims to increase school attendance and decrease gang activity. GRIP committees now also operate in San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Stanton.
Last night, July 30, 2009, a curfew enforcement team including members of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA), Orange Police Department (OPD), Probation Department, and Community Service Programs, Inc. (CSP), patrolled the City of Orange for children ages 17 and under out past 10:00 p.m. in violation of the City curfew laws.
The City of Orange Municipal Code curfew laws (9.28.010) prohibit minors from being out in public places, including playing in the street between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. the following day, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Circumstantial exceptions are made for minors participating in employment, educational, or emergency activities.
The curfew sweep efforts were focused mainly on The Block at Orange and two Safety Zones where gang injunctions have been enforced, including one 1.4 square mile area located primarily west of the 55 State Route Freeway and throughout Eisenhower Park, two small unattached areas (Parker-La Veta and Hoover Wilson), and Highland Street between Lincoln Avenue and Palmyra Avenue. The second Safety Zone covers approximately 3.78 square miles and is primarily located in downtown Orange west of State Route 55, two small unattached areas (Parker-La Veta and Hoover-Wilson), and Highland Street between Lincoln Avenue and Palmyra Avenue. In addition to the curfew sweeps, the enforcement team provided standard police patrol in the targeted neighborhoods.
The teams conducting the curfew sweeps found 29 children in violation of the curfew ordinance. The children ranged from 12 to 17 years old and some were out as late as 2:00 a.m. The 29 children found in violation of curfew laws were taken in the back of police cars to OPD’s headquarters in Orange and held until their parents arrived to pick them up. Before releasing the juvenile to their parent, the juvenile and parent had to meet with representatives from OCDA and Department of Probation to discuss the legal consequences for both the parent and child for violating curfew laws.
These legal consequences could include misdemeanor criminal prosecution with penalties ranging from fines up to six months in jail for the parent or juvenile hall for the child, plus the associated financial costs. Parents also met with CSP representatives, who counseled parents on resources available to them to help them with their children.