Wandering minors — and their parents — may want to think twice before breaking curfew in the city of Eagle Point.
Starting March 16, minors caught wandering the city without good cause between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. could be hit with a $250 citation.
Police Chief Vern Thompson told the Eagle Point City Council Tuesday that adding the citation to the city's curfew rules would provide incentive for parents to keep closer tabs on kids and give police some "teeth" to enforce the ordinance.
Under the city municipal code, the new ordinance takes effect 30 days after approval.
Curfew violators are currently taken into custody and delivered to juvenile detention or released to parents.
Thompson said 14 people had been cited for curfew violations since 2011, but statistics weren't immediately available on the number of minors police made contact with regarding curfew violations.
Councilor Bill Fierke, who attended from a remote location using a live feed, voiced concerns about the citation amount and frequency of citations issued.
Councilor Mike Stanek noted that the 10 p.m. curfew start felt "pretty early," especially during summer when "9:30 is still almost daylight."
Thompson said officers "use their best judgment" when deciding whether to cite curfew violators. Minors involved in acceptable activities, such as school, work or activities with parents, would not have any issues, he added.
In other news, the intersection of Loto Street and Royal Avenue will soon become a four-way stop. Traffic now stops along Loto. Public Works Director Robert Miller said five crashes in as many years had been tallied at the location.
Large stop signs, in addition to temporary signage to alert drivers to the change, soon will be placed so drivers will have ample time to adjust to the change.
Councilor Kathy Sell noted that adequate signage would be important because "people are already confused."
— Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.