Washington, D.C., Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said the city had to set the new 10 p.m. curfew for youths 16 and younger because of “irresponsible” parents who don’t control their children. “You shouldn’t need a curfew if you’ve got parents who are responsible,” Ramsey said. “But unfortunately we’ve got some parents here that are totally irresponsible. Their idea of raising a kid is throwing a kid out of the house and letting them straggle back in at 2 o’ clock in the morning. The reason they’re upset about the curfew is because now they got to actually do something with them from 10 o’clock on.”
Youth advocates and some residents have criticized the curfew, which Mayor Anthony A. Williams proposed after Ramsey declared a “crime emergency.” The city has had a curfew since 1999, with midnight as the curfew hour in July and August. The new time took effect Monday and will continue until at least Aug. 30. Since Monday, D.C. police have picked up 139 youths for curfew violations. Officers take the youths to curfew centers, where their parents or guardians are asked to pick them up.