Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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New curfew syncs with Chicago’s

Since May 15, Evanston teenagers have been required to be off the streets an hour earlier due to a curfew ordinance passed by the Evanston City Council in late April. Because of the new regulation, which Evanston police said they would start enforcing Thursday night, the EPD will have to increase the number of patrols and hire new officers.

Evanston’s youth curfew now matches Chicago’s: 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Syncing up with Chicago was the main motivation for the change. The council hopes to deter Chicago minors from crossing Howard Street into Evanston at night to take advantage of the suburb’s later curfew.

“We need to parallel what Chicago is doing,” said Evanston Police Department Cmdr. James Pickett. “It only makes sense.”

A few hours before police started officially enforcing the curfew, Pickett said he did not anticipate anything out of the ordinary.

“It’s just like what we’re doing now, except an hour earlier,” he said Thursday afternoon. “I’m sure the midnight shift will be paying extra attention.”

Minors can be exempt from the curfew if they are in front of their homes, attending an official city-sponsored event, or accompanied by an adult 21 or older who has been approved by the minor’s parent or guardian.

Pickett said EPD patrols will be concentrating on downtown Evanston, especially Burger King, 1740 Orrington Ave., and Century Theatres, 1715 Maple Ave. He added that Memorial Day weekend and warmer temperatures might encourage curfew violations and would warrant close attention from police.

The new curfew could take a significant toll on Evanston’s resources, Chief of Police Richard Eddington wrote in a letter to city staff dated April 21. Since curfew is a status offense, teens taken into custody for violating curfew cannot be put in jail. Instead, they must remain under the watch of a police officer until a parent or guardian arrives. This could take “several hours,” according to Eddington, and paying officers to guard offenders and run extra patrols will cost the city money.

At the May 12 City Council meeting the EPD was granted an extra $53,000 to hire more officers to enforce the curfew.

Eddington’s letter also noted that the change might have a negative effect on relations between teens and police, especially considering it is not always easy to tell who is underage.

“It would be an oversight to fail to anticipate that a percentage of these interactions will not go well,” the letter states. “Individuals who are youthful in appearance may feel that they have been unfairly singled out for police attention.”

Evanston Township High School sophomore and Evanston Youth Council member Vidur Sood said student reaction has ranged from apathetic to negative.

“Kids don’t typically like something that has the word ‘curfew’ involved in it,” he said. “A lot of kids have been fake angry, like, ‘grr, curfew.'”

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New curfew syncs with Chicago’s