Monona police chief proposes curfew change

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona Police Chief Jo Amsden is proposing a change to the city’s nightly curfew, citing issues with some local juveniles who have been caught sneaking out and wandering around town.

Amsden, speaking to the city council at its Aug. 21 meeting, said she’d like to see curfew moved back one hour, from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights, and from midnight to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Officers would take school functions into account, she noted, not penalizing students who arrive home late from a sporting event or other activity.

“There’s no reason, especially during the week, to be out past 10,” she said.

Currently, when a juvenile is seen around the community late at night, Amsden said officers send them home, then follow up with the individual’s parent or guardian the next day.

Only a few juveniles have been causing trouble, she said, but was hopeful a curfew change would curb their behavior and prevent others from causing trouble in the future.

“This would make them accountable,” she said. “We haven’t enforced it in the past. It was just on the books.”

Councilwoman Heather Lange wondered if it was just a matter of enforcing the current curfew.

“We need to start enforcing it,” she said, adding that she’s worried community members will buck the proposed changes. “I think people are going to say, ‘You’re making my kid come home because of two others.’”

Councilman Dan Havlicek said he felt being proactive about the situation, by warning kids that they need to head home by a certain time, would help.

“Word gets out,” he said. “I’m against changing a law for three people.”

“I think you can enforce it and encourage these standards without making a law,” councilman John Elledge added.

The council made no decision on the matter, noting that they would like to hear thoughts from the public before moving forward.

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