Evanston aldermen later this month will consider amending the city’s curfew ordinance to fine parents at least $500 if their children are caught out after hours.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says youngsters roaming the streets late at night have been a major problem in portions of her ward.

“Once we get the ability to charge parents $500 per arrest, I think we might start seeing some evidence of corrected behavior,” she said.

“Parents just have to step up to the plate. They’re the only ones no demands are being made of right now,” Ald. Rainey said.

“Neighbors are demanding things of the cops, cops are demanding help from neighborhood groups, but nobody’s demanding effort from the parents of the kids who are out of control,” she added.

The curfew ordinance now permits parents to be fined for their children’s violations, but sets the minimum penalty at $10.

The curfew applies to persons under 17 years of age. On Sunday through Thursday curfew starts at 11 p.m. and runs through 6 a.m. the following day. On Saturday and Sunday it runs from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m.

The new penalty provisions will be discussed at the council’s July 24 meeting.

Ald. Rainey says the intersection of Custer Avenue and Brummel Street has been an especially severe trouble spot for curfew and noise violations and more serious disturbances in recent days.

A young man singled out from a crowd of several dozen people milling around the intersection was severely beaten in the street early Sunday morning as neighbors watched in fear from their apartment windows. The man was taken by paramedics to St. Francis Hospital and released the next day.

Ald. Rainey says she met with the city manager and police chief today and they promised to take several steps to address violence and disruptive behavior by crowds of young people in the area.

The city plans to immediately order a surveilance camera for the intersection that the City Council recently voted to include in next year’s Capital Improvement Program budget.

Ald. Rainey says an existing camera at Howard and Custer has been very effective at that intersection, but that its view barely extends to Dobson Street, the next block north, and doesn’t reach Brummel, two blocks away.

Several neighbors spent much of Sunday night on the corner trying to show a positive presence in the area. They were joined by a police officer and Ald. Rainey.

The alderman says she noticed that many drivers now fail to stop at the intersection. A traffic officer will be stationed there within the next few days, she said, and the tickets he’ll write “should pay for the surveillance camera in a jiffy.”

Related link
City of Evanston – Curfew rules

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.