After-hours crime concerns led the San Diego City Council to vote unanimously Monday to implement a curfew at five area parks.
Curfew at City Heights’ Square Mini Park will be from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and there will be a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew at Cedar Ridge Mini Park, Montclair Neighborhood Park , North Park Mini Park and North Park Community Park.
JoJo Moussette loves taking his son to play at North Park Community Park, but he and other parents say he’s seen some unsavory behavior during the day and at night.
“There’s people using drugs and things like that,” he said. “I do agree with a curfew that’s monitored and keeps people that are unsavory out, especially when kids are involved.”
North Park isn’t alone in reported criminal activity at area parks.
Susan Gould enjoys smoking breaks at City Heights Mini Park next door to her home in a senior affordable living development, though she says they’ve sometimes been cut short.
“The thing I’m worried about is they fight out here sometimes. I hear them yelling so I don’t come out here,” Gould said.
As the President and CEO of Serving Seniors, Paul Downey knows Gould’s concerns all too well. He heads the non-profit that owns and operates the building where Gould lives.
Downey sent a letter to the Department of Parks and Recreation in October 2018 calling for a curfew, noting more than 120 crimes were committed around the park over a six month period between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Downey hopes the council’s decision to lock up the park from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. will mean the drug crimes, assaults and robberies reported, will soon be part of the past.
“I’m hoping it will discourage the activity during the day. Maybe it will highlight the issue for the police officers that they do need to park their car and get out and go in and look around and have a high presence,” he said.
While there is not a city-wide curfew at all parks, there are several parks, mostly in the downtown-area, with curfews.