Champlin Deputy Chief Ty Schmidt talks Summer Safety
With summer in full swing, youth enjoying more free time and people of all ages out and about enjoying the weather and each other’s company, Champlin’s Deputy Chief Ty Schmidt offers four
Staying up late is a great aspect of summer for many youth. However, there could be consequences for those who fail to follow the juvenile curfew laws.
According to Hennepin County curfew law, it is unlawful for a juvenile under the age of 12 to be present in any public place or establishment within the county between 9 a.m. and 5 a.m. the following day Sunday through Thursday. The curfew is extended to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
For juveniles ages 12 to 14 the curfew is 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. of the following day for Sundays through Thursdays. It is extended to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Exceptions may include school or church events, traveling to and from work, or running a legitimate errand for a parent.
Schmidt says there hasn’t been a significant problem with broken curfews this year.
"I think people know we actively enforce the curfew so word has gotten out and we don’t have much of a problem with it," he said. "The curfew is important because it has an impact on reducing juvenile on juvenile vandalism, minor fights and property damage."
Youth may become victims or be perpetrators of these types of incidents. Schmidt says it is important to have parents’ help in keeping kids off the streets during the late night curfew hours.
Schmidt reminds residents of the high water levels and strength of the current in the Mississippi.
"Water is coming our way from flooding up north," he said. He urges residents living on or near the river to use extra vigilance this year especially with kids playing in backyards near the river.
"It’s particularly dangerous this year," he said. The high water levels have caused the city to intermittently close Mississippi Point Park and Galloway Park. Should the gates be locked on these parks, Schmidt reminds residents to heed the park closures and don’t trespass.
People are naturally out of their homes more often during the summer. There may be more vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic in residential areas. Schmidt reminds individuals to remain vigilant about keeping garage doors closed and not keeping car keys or valuables in vehicles.
Open garage doors and unsupervised valuables offer opportunity to tempted would-be perpetrators.
Freedom is another cherished aspect of summer for youth. While there is no specific age at which juveniles are allowed to be unsupervised, Schmidt encourages parents to remember safety rules and consider what is the appropriate amount of freedom for their children based on their personal maturity level and abilities.
"The key is to be aware of where your kids are, where to find them and how to get in touch with each other," he said. He also encouraged the buddy system particularly for youth planning to venture out alone to city parks or other locations.
"It’s better to go with friends than alone," he said.
- COMPILED BY MINDY MATEUSZCZYK