Juvenile late-night curfew appears to be working, Eunice police say

A recently-established citywide curfew Eunice seems to be effectively curtailing the amount of late-night movement particularly among juveniles, according to Police Chief Kyle LeBouef.

“What we’ve done seems to be working. The feedback I have received seems to be more positive than negative,” LeBouef said during a telephone interview.

Under the restrictions imposed by the curfew, city police officers have been provided with the authority to stop individuals who are on the streets between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays, the ordinance indicates.

The curfew also intends for minors to be at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the curfew hours have been extended to midnight.

Police lights
Police lights

“The point of having the curfew is twofold. We want to promote public safety and we want to limit the hours that our minors are out at night. We are not attempting to interfere with anyone who is attempting to go to school, work or go to the grocery store,” LeBouef said.

At this point, LeBouef said he prefers to have the curfew remain effective indefinitely.

“We are considering leaving (the curfew) in place until further notice,” LeBouef said.

LeBouef added that his decision to enact the curfew was made since many of the recent violent activities including a recent homicide that occurred in Eunice have seemed to involve juveniles.

“What we have decided to do is take a new approach for the minors in the city. We want to be able to hold them and their parents more accountable,” LeBouef said.

LeBouef said that he is receiving fewer complaints from individuals about minors who previously seemed to be walking the streets or riding bikes late at night.

The city already had an ordinance in place restricting the times that juveniles could be out on the street, LeBouef noted.

“Our curfew for minors has always been there. The problem with it before is that it was not really being enforced. Now with the new enforcement policy, parents of minors are being held more accountable,” LeBouef said.

The curfew was put in place shortly after police officers made three arrests following a late-afternoon homicide which a probable cause affidavit indicated occurred on March 20 at an apartment building located at 821 South Beulah Street.

Police arrested two juveniles and Leroy Freeman III, 21, of Eunice, as principals to first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Carl J. Vigers, the arrest warrant said.

Shortly after police began their investigations of the fatal shooting and making arrests, the affidavit said a Eunice residence was peppered with approximately 30 rounds of high-powered ammunition in an apparent display of retaliation, the arrest affidavit said.

LeBouef said he has also been carefully documenting the productiveness of the curfew.

“I have been reading the reports made by each of our officers as they completed their shifts. From the information that I have received from their reports, there have been no incidents. So far there have been no incidents or violations that have been reported to me,” said LeBouef.

Parish Council member Coby Clavier, whose election district includes the corporate limits of Eunice, said he has heard no complaints about the parameters contained in the ordinance.

“I personally have no problem with the ordinance. I feel that there had to be a legitimate reason for having this ordinance put in place. From the people I have spoken with since we have had the ordinance, no one has spoken against it. In fact, no one has mentioned that there is an ordinance,” said Clavier.

This article originally appeared on Opelousas Daily World: Juvenile late-night curfew ordinance appears to be working, police say