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Diatribe: Clinton, Louisiana’s Curfew.

06/17/2013

map_of_clinton_laMy mother always told me that she couldn’t really sleep until she knew that my siblings and I had all returned safely home from our evening’s activity.  Whether we were on a date, working or visiting relatives, she knew exactly what time we returned home and recognized every sound in our house and who was making it.  We never had an official “curfew” because we knew that Mom would be, more or less, waiting up for us and the guilt of keeping her from a good night’s sleep was enough to get us home at a reasonable hour.

As of May 30th, the entire town of Clinton, Louisiana, a community of about 1,600 people thirty-five miles north of Baton Rouge, has an official curfew.  Chief of Police Fred Dunn says he knows everyone in the small town, and that’s why he wants to keep it safe with an 11:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. curfew for all its residents.  He believes that when crimes occur they usually happen in the night hours.

“The reason why I did the curfews is because of the businesses and home owners.  My citizens have been telling me that when they go home, they don’t feel safe.” – Clinton, Louisiana Police Chief Fred Dunn

While the Chief believes residents appreciate the new curfew, not everyone is a fan.

 “I think that’s kind of stripping people’s rights to come and go as they please.  We’re the only store open 24 hours here in Clinton, and we do pretty good business between the hours of 11 and 2.” – Tammy Childress, who works at the only 24/7 gas station in Clinton, Louisiana

It seems to me that the Police Chief is overstepping his authority.  While his curfew might be well-intentioned, I feel it’s unconstitutional at best.  My mother, on the other hand, would probably think it’s a good idea.

What do you think about a city-wide curfew?  Would you comply?

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10 Comments
  1. What a ridiculous idea.
    It’s not a curfew, it’s a prison-type lock-down because the sheriff wants to make his job easier since, ALLEGEDLY, it’s only criminals on the streets after 11PM.

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  2. Curfews are usually short lived for the reasons noted above. I am sure the Mayor’s or a Councilperson’s child will not be arrested if out past 11 pm, so usually they are unevenly policed.

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    • I don’t know how I would react to something like this in my community. Granted, I can rarely stay awake past 11:00 p.m. anyway but I’d like to think that I would be allowed to do so if I were to take an afternoon nap.

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      • We would be quite the fun pair as I am the same way. With my daughter going to school so early, I wake early and have to go to bed early. Take care, BTG

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  3. One of my sons had a band and they would be out late until their show was done. I didn’t have to wait up – dragging a set of drums into the house was a good ‘I’m home!!’ signal. 🙂

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  4. No curfew for insomniacs like me!

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  5. Curfew Supporter permalink

    The curfew was a good thing in my opinion. It stopped break-ins, vandalism, drug dealing and people roaming the streets playing very loud music all hours of the night. All of these activities had been pretty common during the wee hours night.

    While the curfew was in affect, the town was actually quiet and peaceful and safe at night. The curfew DID NOT interfere with people going and coming from work or arriving home from destinations out-of-town.

    What the curfew did do apparently was to give those what wanted to be “up to no good” second thoughts about being caught out roaming the streets to do their planned “dirty deeds.”

    The curfew did give the majority of us who are quiet law-abiding citizens peace of mind. Crime reports decreased by about 65% overall while it was in effect, and there were no reports of crimes happening during the curfew hours.

    I would like to see the curfew re-instated.

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