Belle Glade could implement curfew

BELLE GLADE, FL (WFLX) - The city of Belle Glade and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office are actively working on implementing a youth curfew to keep kids off the streets in the city.

Mayor Steve Wilson says the city commission has passed the measure onto the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office hoping for their stamp of approval to make it happen.

Wilson believes it will help stop some of the crime problems in the city.

" It's one of the elements that would help," Wilson said. "There's no one answer, but that's one of the elements that we truly believe will be a great component to help curb the things that are happening."

PBSO is currently compiling crime stats for the city to see if it actually needs the youth curfew and so it can develop an ordinance.

The sheriff's office expects to have those numbers for city leaders by the end of the week.

PBSO's legal team will make the final decision on if the department can go through with the city's request once the ordinance is made.

"We hope that they don't find a reason for not supporting it, but from the legal perspective I don't see why they should say no," Mayor Wilson said.

Ken Funderburk works with the local Boys and Girls Club in Belle Glade.

He has heard the idea before and still likes it, but he knows some teenagers won't like it if it's implemented.

"The middle schoolers and high schoolers they feel like they're being taken advantage of them or punishing them in a way because they're not out there involved in the crimes in the streets," Funderburk said.

Back in January, the idea was also brought up, but wasn't pursued as hard because it wasn't known if there was enough of a youth crime problem in the area to warrant an ordinance.

"We think we have enough, but again they do the numbers and they'd be able to tell us that," Mayor Wilson said.

Until PBSO gives the city the youth crime statistics, the city won't know if it really needs it.

All of the details of the curfew have not been figured out and won't be until the statistics are compiled.