Myrtle Beach to look at possibility of stricter curfew for teenagers

Myrtle Beach to look at possibility of stricter curfew for teenagers

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Parents usually hold the responsibility for setting curfews for their teenagers, but the city of Myrtle Beach also has its own curfew.

Now, city staff are looking at modifying it to keep more kids off the streets late at night.

"We want to make sure our young people are safe, that they are not in a dangerous situation (and) out where they really shouldn't be where no good could come from it," said Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Mark Kruea. "And if we can work with the neighborhoods and the parents to establish some sort of time frame, maybe that's the best answer."

The topic of public curfews for teenagers came up at a recent Booker T. Washington neighborhood watch meeting, which Myrtle Beach City Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat attended. She brought the concerns to the city manager and city council members at Tuesday's city council workshop.

Teenagers 17 and younger cannot be out past 1 a.m., in Myrtle Beach unless they're traveling to or from work under the current curfew, which was passed in 2009.

Kruea said that curfew has been helpful in keeping both locals and tourists who are underage out of trouble.

Now, he said neighborhood watch groups have been asking about what's called a graduated curfew, or setting earlier curfews for younger age groups.

A Booker T. Washington neighborhood watch organizer said he's mostly worried about juvenile offenders being out late. He said he's not as concerned about an overarching policy for all teenagers.

Karen Brathwaite, who grew up on Carver Street, said she thinks parenting needs to be stronger, but she does believe an earlier public curfew would be beneficial for teenagers and the community.

"It may save that child from getting into trouble or doing anything or even getting themselves hurt or killed," Brathwaite said.

The city manager will evaluate the curfew and report back at a future city council meeting.

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