|For Immediate Release
November 13, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
LAW ENFORCEMENT NET OVER 65 JUVENILES IN COUNTY-WIDE GANG PREVENTION CURFEW SWEEP
*This is the first Orange County-wide curfew sweep and the largest multi-agency collaboration to date
ORANGE COUNTY – A County-wide curfew sweep was conducted last night by law enforcement officers from approximately 20 agencies, netting 67 juveniles in violation of city curfew laws. This was the largest-ever curfew sweep in Orange County and included the largest number of participating agencies and juveniles contacted to date. These curfew sweeps, organized by the Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (GRIP), aim to prevent juveniles from being victims of or participants in gang crimes. GRIP works to identify at-risk youth, increase school attendance, and decrease gang activity. GRIP committees now operate in Anaheim, Orange, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, and will soon be operating in Buena Park.
County-wide Curfew Sweeps
Last night and early this morning, approximately 300 officers patrolled over 20 cities and unincorporated areas for children ages 17 and under out in public past curfew, in violation of city laws. Curfews in Orange County begin at 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m., depending on the city, and last until 5:00 a.m. the following day. Minors are prohibited from being in public during these hours unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian or are subject to circumstantial exceptions made for minors participating in employment, educational, or emergency activities.
The teams conducting the curfew sweeps found 67 juveniles in violation of curfew ordinances. The minors ranged from 13 to 17 years old. The curfew sweeps focused mainly on areas with a high volume of gang and/or criminal activity including gang neighborhoods, the Block at Orange, Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo, all major malls, and all gang injunction Safety Zones. In addition to the curfew sweeps, the enforcement teams provided standard police patrol.
The minors found in violation of curfew laws were taken in the back of police cars to one of three headquarters located in south, central, and north Orange County, 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 the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to discuss the dangers and legal consequences for both the parent and child for violating curfew laws. They also met with Orange County Probation Department officers for references to resources such as parenting classes, substance abuse treatment and family therapy.
The legal consequences of violating curfew laws 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 representatives from Community Service Programs, Inc. and volunteer counselors from Pepperdine University for information on resources available to them to help with their children.
This GRIP curfew sweep was hosted by the Anaheim Police Department, Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA), Orange County Probation Department, and Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD). The participating law enforcement agencies included the OCDA Bureau of Investigation, California Highway Patrol, University of California, Irvine Police Department, Santa Ana Unified School District Police Department, and the police departments from the Cities of Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa.