A special curfew of 9 p.m. is being used for the evening of Halloween.
The city’s curfew for minors is 11 p.m. on regular days.
The precautionary step that has led to a few citations already is as a result of numerous thefts from vehicles, with teen suspects, during the past month or two.
Thefts tend to increase prior to the holiday season, according to police captain Stacey Meeks.
According to the ordinance: “Any person under the age of sixteen, shall be not be abroad at night between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless going to or from a lawful activity, or upon a legitimate errand, or in the accompanied by a parent (or) guardian adult having legal custody over he minor.”
Public safety director Benji Clift is also reinstituting bicycle patrols, which will occasionally patrol the streets of LaFayette.
Patrolman Zack Simpson will be patrolling during the annual Scare on the Square event on Halloween. He and another (yet-to-be-assigned) officer will use two police-equipped mountain bikes to perform safety checks and patrol.
Officers will conduct a “field interview” with any person (adult or juvenile) that officers encounter, which documents the time, location, descriptions and identities of individuals stopped.
“That way, if something does turn up the next day, that gives us a starting point for the investigation,” Meeks said.
That type of field interview successfully led to two arrests for thefts from vehicles in October.
In situations of teens driving back from a late practice or after a work shift, police will use their discretion based on legitimate circumstances.
On the other hand, if teens are found loitering around businesses or wandering the streets in the wee hours of the morning, they will be cited for breaking curfew, according to Meeks.
Meeks has noticed the nighttime thefts are involving a mix of 6-8 suspects (ages 15-18), some of whom are 16-year-old high school dropouts or those kicked out of school for disciplinary problems. He describes them as crimes of opportunity by youths (either on foot or bike), several taking place near their residences.
“They get out here and roam the streets at night with very little supervision from their parents,” Meeks said.
Officers will take the teens to the police department, fill out the citation, and then summon the parents to the precinct to pick up their children.