Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed legislation establishing an updated curfew for all minors in the City of Philadelphia. The new ordinance creates an evening curfew if the minor is outside without a parent or legal guardian, Additionally, the legislation creates a penalty of up to $500 for the parents of youth committing curfew violations.
“I would like to thank City Council for passing this legislation quickly, which will help keep safe our citizens, especially our young people,” said Mayor Nutter. “A curfew has been in effect in Philadelphia since 1955. By adopting this legislation, we are updating and enforcing a law that was already on the books. During this past summer, our city was faced with a small percentage of our city’s youth impacting all of our citizens. This law will help our law enforcement to respond more effectively and quickly to apprehend the offenders.”
Through the updated law, minors 13 and under will have a curfew of 8:00 PM during the school year and 9:00 PM during the summer. Minors ages 14 through 15 will have a 9:00 PM curfew during the school year and a 10:00 PM curfew during the summer. Minors ages 16 and 17 will have a 10:00 PM curfew during the school year and an 11:00 PM curfew during the summer.
If caught breaking curfew, minors will be transported to the PPD district station where their parents or guardians will be contacted. They will receive a notice or citation when they collect their child from the station. If a parent or guardian cannot be reached, PPD will contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) to initiate an investigation. Minors can be temporarily excused from the curfew if engaged in lawful employment, participating in legitimate business as directed by the minor’s parents, on active duty with the U.S. Armed Services, or if the minor is with a parent or guardian.
During the summer, Mayor Nutter instituted a 9:00 PM curfew for all minors in targeted enforcement areas on Friday and Saturday nights. The curfew included increased enforcement by the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) and law enforcement agencies. It was part of a comprehensive response to youth violence that included temporarily expanded recreation center hours and encouraging businesses to register with the PPD’s SafeCam initiative.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown added, “This measure gives law enforcement officials an important tool that they have requested to deter youth violence. Provided that it is used fairly and compassionately, it can be an important piece of the puzzle to building a safer City.”