A proposed stricter curfew for underage people in downtown Las Vegas will get another hearing Oct. 1, but only after the idea was pared back dramatically.
On Wednesday the City Council agreed to send the curfew proposal from Mayor Carolyn Goodman back to the council Recommending Committee that rejected it just one day previous.
The committee on Tuesday voted 2-1 to seek a 30-day delay for the proposal, which Goodman wanted fast-tracked for approval Wednesday, because they said it was overly broad and could result in racial profiling and harassment of minority youth.
Goodman’s initial proposal, sought by casinos, downtown business owners and police, would have imposed a 9 p.m. curfew for people 17 years old and younger over a large swath of the central city, including highways and major streets. An existing citywide weekend curfew of midnight would have remained in place elsewhere.
Residents in the curfew zone, which is largely working class and minority, cried foul, pointing out kids in the zone could be considered lawbreakers for venturing out on city streets near their homes while kids in other parts of town would face no scrutiny for the same activity.
A pared back version reached the Recommending Committee Tuesday but ran into problems after Councilman Ricki Barlow said it still had the potential to lead to targeting of minority youth by police.
Councilman Bob Coffin, who joined Barlow in opposition, now says an even tighter version of the proposal could be ready in time for the Oct. 2 council meeting. That version, which hasn’t yet been published, would likely go along Fremont Street from Main Street to 15th Street and two blocks parallel. It would also cover Las Vegas Boulevard, most likely from Stewart Avenue to Sahara Avenue and two blocks parallel.
The idea is to focus the curfew zone onto areas with high concentrations of bars and casinos and with few residents. Previous versions included residential neighborhoods.
“The problem is around Fremont, the place we want to enforce,” Coffin said. “We shouldn’t try to suddenly change all our curfew policies for so many other places.”
Coffin also said he wants proposed fines for violating curfew to be decreased. He also said 10 p.m. would be a more appropriate weekend curfew downtown.
Both Coffin and Barlow, who represent areas affected by the proposal, said Goodman didn’t consult them on the details in advance.
“The mayor just took wholesale what staff and police said and had it drafted,” Coffin said.
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