City Council passes teen crime crackdown

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -  Many Montgomery parents worry about incidents of teenage crime and violence.

Now, city leaders set out to curb the violence, passing an ordinance with new restrictions and guidelines for anyone hosting 50 or more teens in the Capital City.

"This is an ordinance that will help our young people and also provide some guidance for business owners who would like to continue to serve our young people," said Councilor Willie Cook.

The crackdown prohibits any events to go past midnight.  The ordinance requires promoters or others renting out a building to apply for a $50 dollar permit at least 15 days in advance.

It also mandates one uniformed security guard be posted per every 50 guests.

Community leaders say the ordinance a step in the right direction.

"It's extremely important.  I believe it will reduce the crime rate, reduce the murder rate, and a number of our young people being incarcerated," said Pastor Ed Nettles of Freewill Missionary Baptist Church.

Other residents--even some city council members--say it goes too far.

"There is real potential for this to be an issue moving forward, particularly if there's no consistency in the ordinance being upheld," Councilor Martha Roby explained.

"All [teens are] going to do is get together, with text messaging, Facebook--whatever--and find little spots where they can go chill out at with no kind of supervision," said promoter GeJuan Fore.

The fines set by the ordinance are stiff.  Breaking the rules can cost you up to $500 in fines and up to six months in jail.

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