Montgomery mayor calls on parents to help fight juvenile crime

Montgomery mayor calls on parents to help fight juvenile crime
Mayor Todd Strange said parents should be held responsible for the actions of their children, because law enforcement can only do so much. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange called on parents in a Wednesday briefing to take action, to help in the fight against juvenile crime.

An ordinance that would have created a midnight curfew for teenagers failed to pass the Montgomery city council Tuesday night, but Mayor Strange was not a supporter of the measure, saying similar curfews in other cities like Mobile, did not work.

Mayor Strange said parents should be held responsible for the actions of their children, because law enforcement can only do so much.

“What it really boils down to is police departments become the parent, the babysitter,” Strange said.

At the council meeting, Montgomery police broke down numbers on juvenile stops over the last 90 days. The data shows police stop at least one child a day.

Strange said the challenge is deciding what to do with the teens when police encounter them.

“We had a situation not too long ago at one of our locations where we had a group of men and women running through a parking lot,” he said. “And just kind of raising havoc. We rounded up 10-12 of those, and we never could find all of the parents. And what are you going to do? Take them to jail? They are juveniles. They go to juvenile court; juvenile court will not do anything with them, and they are back on the streets. We need your help. We need the parents to be responsible.”

Strange touted city efforts to increase relations with teens, such as MPD’s conflict resolution workshops.

He says he will continue to work with organizations and schools to sponsor youth initiatives. He urges parents who may need some help to call the Samaritan Counseling Center.

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