Newark officials announce summer curfew for minors to go into effect May 3

Mayor Ras Baraka says the curfew is about keeping kids safe from violence and getting them off the street.

Chris Keating

Apr 25, 2024, 9:31 PM

Updated 22 days ago


Plans for enforcing a curfew for minors in Newark are back on. City officials announced Thursday that the curfew will start city-wide on May 3 for children age 17 and younger.
Mayor Ras Baraka says he wants to take a holistic approach to enforcing a curfew for kids. He says this will be about keeping kids safe from violence, getting them off the street and finding out if they need help at home.
“A child at 12 and 13 years old should not be out at 2 a.m.,” Baraka said.
Baraka says that too often Newark police are finding young kids out late. The curfew will be from 11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. Anyone under 18 will be questioned and then ideally taken home to their parents if they are out past curfew.
But in some cases, city officials are aware a child may not have a safe home to go to.
“There actually may be kids who have run away. Or kids dealing with issues at their homes who may not want to be home,” Baraka said.
In those cases, or if no adult is home, children will not be taken to a police department but rather they will be taken to a re-engagement center - a facility along McCarter Highway where a child can be engaged and if needed, find out what’s happening in their home. For those who do go home to an adult, there will be a follow-up.
“We will do a follow-up within 24 to 48 hours through phone calls and home visits to ensure they got the resources they needed,” says Lakeesha Eure, deputy mayor of Public Safety.
Some Newark parents say they agree that a curfew is generally a good idea. Avery Sawyer is a father to four. Two of his children are teens.
“Conceptually, a curfew works when you’ve got a healthy home, when you have a place you can go to and call home where people care about you,” Sawyer says.
But enforcing a curfew is another matter altogether. That’s where engagement will need to be done with a light touch.
The mayor says that after 30 days, the program will be reviewed to see if any changes are needed.

More from News 12