By Jesús Jiménez
The night life in the city can be grand. Center City offers a variety of different locations for food and entertainment that can make a night on the town great for you and your friends.
Many minors look at Philly with this perspective, and end up caught in an unwanted argument with Police that ruins their night. The curfew in the city could be a problem for some. Even if you aren’t having the time of your life in the city, you might be stopped just by your appearance.
Mayor Michael Nutter signed legislation which updated the curfew times in Philadelphia back in 2011. Minors 13 and below were given a curfew of 8 PM, while 14-15 year olds were allowed to be outside until 9 PM. Anyone over the age of 16 was allowed out until 10 in the evening.
Of course, this was during the school year. During the summer, everyone had an extra hour before the cops began to question you.
Senior Matthew Ginnetti has a cousin who was stopped by officials a few times over the summer coincidentally. “My cousin was stopped by the cops 3 times,” he said, “The last two times he was fined around $200.” One of the events, as he remembers took place near Tasker and Morris streets, in South Philly.
From a police officer’s point of view, a curfew helps in maintaining order in the city while preventing harm to any youth that might be out at night. While Philadelphia isn’t exactly a dystopia, it still shares it’s worth in crime.
Blondell Reynolds-Brown, a councilwoman for the Philadelphia City Council described the curfew as a “tool” for law enforcement officers.
She added, “Provided that it is used fairly and compassionately, it can be an important piece of the puzzle to building a safer city”. This was back in 2011.
Has a curfew helped Philadelphia become a safer city since then? Youth today are still staying out late. Regardless of whether they feel safe in their neighborhoods or not doesn’t matter to our police officers. They will confront you as long as the legislation is still standing. But cut them some slack. After all, they’re just doing their job.