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Ludlow Council to Vote on Adjusted Curfew Times for Minors

The Ludlow city council called an emergency meeting for Thursday to consider a tougher curfew for minors, citing recent violations of the current curfew as well as the COVID-19 global pandemic as a motivating factor.

The meeting, which will take place by teleconference on Thursday at 7 p.m., follows a warning from the Ludlow Police Department published Wednesday.

"We would like to remind you that this quarantine is not a vacation for your children, to be out running the streets of Ludlow. We are consistently seeing groups of 3 or more teenagers walking around and some are causing trouble, such as criminal mischief, thefts and harassing other citizens," the department's Facebook post read. "We’re asking all parents to keep better track of your teenage children. Ideally, we’d like to see everyone follow the social distancing guidelines set by the Governor and the White House.

"Let us also remind you that the City of Ludlow has a curfew ordinance which is in effect all year long."

According to that post, the city's curfew, which prohibits minors from being in the city's public areas without an authorized reason, is 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Friday, and midnight to 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Thursday's meeting would change that, if the legislation is adopted.

"Any juvenile found out past curfew, without a valid and verifiable reason will be returned to their parent and the parent will be cited to court for the violation," the police department wrote on Wednesday. "CURFEW WILL NOW BE STRICTLY ENFORCED!!"

City council will consider a curfew for every day of the week from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Exceptions would include when a minor is accompanied by a parent or responsible adult authorized by a parent; if a minor is employed in a position that requires him or her to be in a specific area with a specific purpose (with additional allowance for 45 minutes of travel time between leaving home for the job, or leaving the job for home); any time a minor is required to leave a residence due to an emergency; and any time a minor is on a parent-approved errand.

A minor is defined in the ordinance as any un-emancipated, unmarried person under the age of 18. 

"It shall be unlawful for any minor to be upon streets, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, public places and vacant lots, or to ride in or upon, drive or otherwise operate or be a passenger in any automobile, bicycle, or other vehicle in, upon, over or through the streets, or other public places between the hours of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM on Monday through Sunday evenings," the ordinance reads.

Violations could result in a fine not to exceed $250.

The tighter curfew, if adopted, would expire when the current state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is ended.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher