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Orange County Focus

Countywide : Curfew Violator Bill Would Affect Parents

May 02, 1994|BERT ELJERA

Orange County Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder and Santa Ana Police Chief Paul M. Walters are scheduled to testify Tuesday before a state Assembly committee that is considering ways to strengthen curfew laws and make parents more responsible for their children's activities.

The Public Safety Committee is considering a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Garden Grove) that for the first time would place a "financial burden" on parents whose children are caught violating curfew.

Umberg's bill would allow cities and counties to charge parents $50 each time a law enforcement officer takes home a curfew violator.

"It will encourage parents to take a stronger hand with juveniles who are current or potential gang members," said Wieder, who is supporting the bill. "It's an additional tool in the battle against street gangs."

Wieder said that a state curfew law that could be enforced across city and county boundaries would be effective in going after gangs.

A majority of California cities and counties have 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfews for minors to deter them from being on the streets at night.

But enforcement is often lax. Police said that young people who are walking home, are in restaurants, or have their parents' permission to stay out after 10 p.m. do not violate curfew.

Wieder said that members of her Second District Gang Alliance Committee, which was formed in 1991, helped draft the Umberg bill.

The group has expanded and in November helped organize the county's summit on gang violence, attended by more than 1,000 people, she said.

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