MEXICO — The Planning Board’s attempts to institute an after-hours curfew ordinance continued Thursday evening at the Mexico Town Office as the board and the Mexico police chief reviewed ordinances from two other towns.

The issue was brought before the board by Planning Board Chairman Dan Casey during a 2014 meeting.

Police Chief Roy Hodsdon told the board that he supported an after-hours curfew “110 percent, especially given all the crime we’ve seen in the area recently.”

Hodsdon passed out copies of the curfew ordinances from Rumford and Fairfield.

“Both towns have had good success with these ordinances,” Hodsdon told the Planning Board. “Rumford revamped theirs recently, and Chief (Stacy) Carter said that they haven’t had any problems with it.”

Planning Board member Mabel Merrill asked Hodsdon which ordinance he was leaning towards.

Advertisement

“I think that Fairfield has a very descriptive ordinance,” Hodsdon said. “That’s nothing against Rumford’s ordinance either. They both are very good. I think Fairfield’s ordinance has more definitions and is more detailed in laying things out.”

Fairfield’s curfew ordinance states that it is unlawful for a minor to remain in a public place during curfew hours, and for a parent or guardian of a minor to knowingly permit a minor to remain in a public place during curfew hours.

The curfew hours for Fairfield’s ordinance are 9:01 p.m. to 6 a.m. for minors younger than the age of 14, and 11:01 p.m. to 6 a.m. for minors between the ages of 14 and 17.

Hodsdon said that he wanted to make sure Mexico’s curfew ordinance wouldn’t “ding minors coming to and from work, or different events.”

Casey asked Hodsdon if police were allowed to talk to people over the age of 18 after curfew hours.

Hodsdon replied, “Yes, if they have a youthful appearance, we can talk to them.”

Advertisement

“Well, you can talk to anybody on the street if you suspect them, can’t you?” Casey asked.

“Yes and no,” Hodsdon said. “If we’ve been having a lot of burglaries in the area, and we see someone out, we can talk to them. However, it’s not against the law for someone to walk down Main Street at midnight.”

Hodsdon said that he liked the fact that both ordinances that he looked at for assistance “defined what a guardian is.”

“Each ordinance says that minors can be in public places as long as they’re accompanied by their guardian or parent,” Hodsdon said. “I’m glad that the ordinances define what a guardian means. It doesn’t mean your older brother, or your neighbor or your older friend. It means the person who is responsible for taking care of you, whether it’s your parents or grandparents.”

Merrill said that she believed an after-hours curfew ordinance would be a great addition to the town.

“There’s nothing for younger kids to do outside at night except for get into trouble,” Merrill said. “As a mother, I think minors should be inside at a certain hour.”

Hodsdon said he would take elements from both Rumford and Fairfield’s ordinances, create a rough draft and present to the Planning Board at their February meeting.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.