The Escondido City Council has voted to change the city’s juvenile curfew from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. for kids under 18 years old.
“We’re not targeting good kids, we’re not targeting kids who are out doing things they should be doing,” said City Councilman Mike Marasco.
Instead, Marasco said the new 10 p.m. curfew is for minors who are doing things they shouldn’t be doing on the streets of Escondido.
"Between 2008 and 2010 we had 11 homicides. Approximately half of those involved juveniles in violation of curfew – either the suspect or the victim were in violation of curfew,” said Sgt. David Cramer. “We’re not going to go out and sweep the streets, but it gives us a tool to use.”
Some teens completely understand the curfew change, such as 18-year-old Escondido resident Omar Tapia.
“After 10 p.m. is when you don’t want to be outside,” said Tapia.
While some might see the 10 p.m. curfew as punitive and restrictive, supporters see it as proactive.
“One of the things that really struck a chord with me are youngsters ages 14 to 17 who may become victims of crime because of undesirable places they may be during those late hours,” added Marasco.
Another teen who sees the curfew change as positive is 18-year-old Julie Burlington.
“I think safety wise it's a good thing [since] we have lots of crime issues in Escondido. I know anything past 10, it might not be safe to be out,” said Burlington.
The curfew law exempts minors who are working or are on their way home. It also aligns Escondido with the countywide 10 p.m. curfew.
Meanwhile, Escondido parents who support the curfew change see the reasoning behind the earlier shift to 10 p.m.
"If [kids] are just coming home from movies it’s good, but if they’re just hanging out on street I think it’s good that they have a curfew so they can be safe," said JoAnn Crabtree.
"The police need tools to help us keeps kids in a safe environment where they know their boundaries; what is right and wrong. If they are just loitering around nothing good is going to come out of that,” said Escondido resident Donna Aeling. “I think 10 p.m. is perfect."
Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and councilwoman Marie Waldron voted against the curfew. Both were unavailable for interviews with NBC 7 San Diego on Thursday.
Currently, the city is targeting a mid-July implementation of the new 10 p.m. curfew.