South Street curfew roundup

Seventy-one juveniles were cited for violating curfew last weekend in the areas set by Mayor Michael Nutter’s executive order with about half occurring on South Street.

Those under the age of 18 had to be home by 9 p.m. starting last Friday in the designated areas including along South Street where officers checked identification and transported youngsters hanging out there to the 3rd Police District, 11th and Wharton streets, where their parents were directed to pick them up.

“We had no problems with any of the juveniles or even the people that were of age that we stopped,” Lt. Joseph Bologna, of the South Street Mini Station, 905 South St., said. “They actually welcomed it.”

There were about 31 curfew violators Friday plus a few more Saturday, he said.

“I think word got out,” Bologna, who transferred from the 1st District in October, said on the decrease in summary citations although he doesn’t believe teens were ignorant of the temporary change in curfew Friday.

“I think they were aware of it,” he said. “I just think they didn’t think we were going to enforce it.”

Nutter implemented the change in curfew Aug. 8 in two areas of the city: Center City/South Philly — Vine to Bainbridge streets, river to river — and University City — 38th to 43rd streets Market Street to Baltimore Avenue. The Friday- and Saturday-night mandate lasts through Aug. 28 after which it will return to 10 p.m. for those younger than 13 and midnight for those ages 13 to 17, which it is currently in parts of the city outside the executive order’s realm. On Sundays through Thursdays, the curfew remains 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., respectively, until after Labor Day when those younger than 13 must be home by 9 p.m., according to a City ordinance.

“I am sure that young people and their parents have now gotten the message,” Nutter said Monday after the first weekend of the new temporary curfew. “We are going to continue to promote the positive, but we will also have continued enforcement of the curfew. It is strict and serious and there are no exceptions.”

While South Street only added a few extra officers to aid in transporting youngsters to the 3rd District, police presence citywide increased over the weekend and will continue to improve safety, Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in a statement.

“Enforcing an early curfew this weekend was an important part of making our City safe for everyone,” he said. “Senseless violence by a few will not be tolerated in Center City, University City or anywhere in Philadelphia.”

After the trial, the mayor and the police department will evaluate the order, but so far, many seem to like the outcome after its debut.

“It’s getting positive feedback from the community and the business people on South Street,” Bologna said.


Contact Managing Editor Amanda L. Snyder at or ext. 117.