Citizen Reaction to Possible Curfew

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council on Monday agreed to go ahead with a task force to try and decrease the amount of violence in the city.  This task force has been spurred by recent shootings, including four in the month of June.

One of the suggestions by Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton recently was to implement a curfew ordinance for people under the age of 17, with the hopes that keeping youth off the street at night would reduce the amount of crime.  

Some Columbia residents disagree.

"I don't think they need to do a curfew," said Debbie Poe.  "I think it's the kids that are old enough to be down here that are causing the problems."

"That doesn't seem like a really reasonable thing to do," said Matthew Christman. "They're going to do crime no matter what you say. If you think implementing curfew is going to curb crime then you're just living out of reality. It's not going to happen."

"I really don't think it's going to cut down on crime at all," said Zach Van Hove. "I don't think this government has any right to tell us when we can be out."  However, Van Hove did say he sees some value in a curfew. 

"From the same standpoint, there's no reason (kids) need to be out so late," said Van Hove.

This is not the first time Columbia has considered the addition of a curfew.  The city proposed an ordinance in both 2002 and 2003, but it was withdrawn in June of 2003.