Cov­ing­ton par­ents cited for Cony­ers cur­few vi­o­la­tions

The Covington News - - LOCAL - MARTIN RAND III news@cov­

More ci­ta­tions had to be given to par­ents and guardians from New­ton County for their chil­dren violating Cony­ers’ un­der­age cur­few law over the week­end.

From 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Satur­day night, Cony­ers Po­lice is­sued 16 ci­ta­tions for kids loi­ter­ing in the Cony­ers Cross­roads park­ing lot. Eleven of the ci­ta­tions were kids who re­side in Cov­ing­ton.

The dif­fer­ent groups of ju­ve­niles, ages 13 to 16, stated they ei­ther just fin­ished watch­ing a movie at Cross­roads Cin­e­mas, 1536 Dog­wood Drive, Cony­ers, or were walk­ing to the nearby Wal­mart Su­per­center, when po­lice ques­tioned them.

On the night of Sept. 13, Cony­ers Po­lice is­sued 14 ci­ta­tions for kids fight­ing in the park­ing lot area of Cony­ers Cross­road after the city-wide cur­few. Of those 14 ci­ta­tions, 13 were to par­ents or guardians from the Cov­ing­ton area.

Un­like the week prior, the kids on Satur­day weren’t cre­at­ing a dis­tur­bance, but were spot­ted by po­lice pa­trolling the area. Ac­cord­ing to Cony­ers Po­lice In­ves­ti­ga­tor and Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer Kim Lu­cas, po­lice told the kids prior to 11 p.m. that they had to get home be­fore cur­few.

The movie theater in Cony­ers is the clos­est for res­i­dents from Cov­ing­ton. Cov­ing­ton teenagers reg­u­larly make the trip across the county line on the week­ends to catch a movie with their friends.

But Lu­cas wants adults from Cov­ing­ton know that Cony­ers has a cur­few for teens; they should make plans to pick up their kids when the movie is over.

“Our goal is to not is­sue any ci­ta­tions,” she said. “Not only do we want to pre­vent th­ese teens from com­mit­ting crime, but we want to pre­vent them from (be­ing) vic­tims.”

Ac­cord­ing to the city or­di­nance, which was adopted April 2011, be­tween the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sun­day through Thurs­day, any 16-year-old or younger is not al­lowed to wan­der pub­lic ar­eas un­chap­er­oned by an adult with ex­cep­tions for events such as in­clud­ing sport­ing events, church events, see­ing a movie and emer­gen­cies. On Fri­days and Satur­days, the ef­fec­tive hours are be­tween 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. the fol­low­ing day.

Cov­ing­ton has no cur­few or­di­nance spec­i­fied for teenagers.

“We don’t want to say that ev­ery child out late is do­ing wrong, but we do want to pre­vent them from do­ing wrong,” said Lu­cas.

Busi­nesses have com­plained that the large groups of ju­ve­niles gath­ered in their park­ing lots have de­terred cus­tomers from en­ter­ing their busi­nesses. There were re­ports of fights and ob­jects stolen out of ve­hi­cles in the Cony­ers Cross­roads shop­ping cen­ter dur­ing the sum­mer of 2013 which prompted the ity of Cony­ers to put up an orange and white sign stat­ing the cur­few is strictly en­forced.

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