The City of Columbia is a step closer to making the temporary Five Points curfew permanent.
The council giving the measure the green light during its first reading at Tuesday night's meeting. Council members are also considering expanding the curfew to the Vista and Harbison areas. The temporary curfew was enacted following the severe beating of 18-year old Carter Strange. Right now, if you are 16 and younger, you can't be in Five Points from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Business owners and operators are on board with making the curfew permanent.
We're all very aware of what happened as far as why this curfew's in effect and we're probably all unanimously support it; it's not going to hurt anybody, said David Abreu, supervisor of the Tutti Frutti yogurt shop in Five Points.
Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott says kids in hospitality areas for legitimate reasons, such as a job, will not be subject to punishment under the curfew. "The ordinance has a provision in it for young people who are out there doing the right thing and who are out working. The real bottom line of the curfew is if a child is out in the hospitality areas nonsupervised, they should not be there period. There's no reason they should be there."
The temporary curfew will expire September 27th. The council will vote on a second and final reading of the permanent Five Points curfew measure next Tuesday.
What do you think? Should the city of Columbia enact a permanent curfew? Leave a comment below.