Summer curfew for teens in Kansas City goes into effect Friday night

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's teen summer curfew goes into effect Friday night, and police say the plan to keep everyone safe is working.

The city put the curfew in place after seeing large groups of teenagers on the Country Club Plaza and other entertainment areas.

"They've been in place in one form or another since the 1970s, and the basic premise of this is that we want kids to be safe out in the community. During the summer we know they're out of school and we want them to have fun, safe, age appropriate activities over the summer," KCPD Sgt. Jake Becchina said.

Country Club Plaza, Power & Light, 18th & Vine, Westport and Zona Rosa are all included in the curfew. If you are 17 and younger, after 9 p.m. you need to be with an adult in those districts.

Citywide, kids 15 and younger need to be accompanied by an adult by 10 p.m. 16- and 17-year-olds need to be accompanied by 11 p.m.

"Every year it seems like less and less police resources are having to be dedicated to responding down here for curfew violation issues," Becchina said.

The fine for breaking the curfew is up to $500 and given to the parent of the teen. However, the municipal court said sometimes judges will be lenient if parents and their child meet with a court-approved counselor.

"We're trying to find the underlying causes of whatever the situation may be, and try to make sure people don't run into the same situation again," Benita Jones with the court said. "They can improve their lives and the overall safety of the city."

"The courts are here to help you," said Carl Bussey, a prosecuting attorney with the city. "They're not here to punish you. We're here to help each other so we can all thrive together."

Police said programs like the Police Athletic League and other youth-friendly events through the city and the mayor's office help teenagers find safe and age-appropriate activities during the summer months.

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