SALAMANCA — The city of Salamanca has imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on all youth, effective immediately, Mayor Michael R. Smith said Monday.
In a press release, Smith said he believes it would be in the best interest of the city’s residents to temporarily impose a curfew on all individuals 17 years old or younger between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re having some issues with vandalism,” he told the Press Monday. “And we’re also having trouble with social distancing.”
The mayor said Police Chief Troy Westfall agreed, saying the recommendation is based on observations by police officers of youth congregations in groups in the city at night.
“We have bored kids, and bored kids get into trouble,” he said. “And at this point, bored kids could end up dying.”
Smith said the groups of teens have tended to gather at some of the parks and playgrounds and on the Pennsy Trail.
“I’ve got complaints from people out on a walk unable to walk on Pennsy’s because there are gangs of kids,” he explained.
The only exceptions to the curfew are if the youth are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or if they are going to or coming from work, Smith said. Any violation of the curfew will be subject to a fine not to exceed $250.
Smith also said he hopes the curfew will help parents realize the seriousness of social distancing, saying any kid’s friends have the potential to subsequently infect the parents.
“Every person exponentially increases your chances of infection by some percentage,” he said. “That’s what you’re looking at now, and you have to be aware that every contact is exponential.”
The mayor said the curfew will remain in effect through the duration of the pandemic shutdown.
(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at email@example.com)