Canton Officials Tighten Grip on City Curfew

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CANTON, Ohio --  It’s the end of the school year, and the thoughts of students are turning to summer fun, but Canton police and the city school district are reminding juveniles about the city's curfew, and promising aggressive enforcement.

Under the curfew, minors cannot be out in public or in a vehicle between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and between 12:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Friday night through Saturday night.

Canton parents are hoping police make good on the threat.

"I'm glad that they're going to do that because I don't feel that children need to be out with no supervision," said Lisa Wells, “ because they just can't be trusted."

But parents like Yolanda Walker are skeptical, telling Fox 8, "Somehow, I doubt that they will because they haven't in the past, but they need to find a stricter means to enforce it, and my suggestion is punishing by way of fine."

Some teenagers think the curfew is too restrictive.

"I think it should be later because of kids that are actually working, and making better for  themselves," said Jason Davidson. “I think it should be later so they don't worry about cops having to stop them."

Some parents say the curfew is not tough enough.

"I don't think any minor under the age of 18, unless they're working, needs to be out at 11 o'clock even if it's on a weekend night," said Rachel Stover. “Because I think any child that's out at 11 o'clock at night these days is probably up to no good."

Canton police say they have been conducting curfew sweeps in recent weeks, and plan to continue those throughout the summer months. Teens who have been picked up in the curfew crackdown think it will either serve as a deterrent, or encourage minors to be secretive about their movements at night.

"I was walking home, and the cop pulled me over and told me get in the car, and I was like, 'Why?' He said, 'Well, you're out past curfew,' and he took me home," recounted student Megan Young.

Police and the school district are hoping the crackdown will avert tragedies like the April 15 shooting of 17-year-old Anthony Moore, a Canton McKinley sophomore.

A car that Moore was riding in was riddled with bullets, and the driver pulled into a gas station, asked employees to call 9-1-1 and then fled. Anthony Moore died a short time later.

"These kids don't really understand the fact that actions can lead to death. You know, they watch so many video games, and at the end, the person says cut and they go on with their life," said Yolanda Walker. “But in real life, it doesn't happen like that."