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ESCONDIDO — The Escondido City Council has approved a request from the Police Department to extend the city's juvenile curfew hours.

Under the ordinance change approved 3-2 this week, with Mayor Sam Abed and Councilwoman Marie Waldron voting no, curfew hours for minors under age 18 will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. During that time, unaccompanied minors are not allowed to be in a public place or at an establishment, according to the Municipal Code.


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The change from 11 p.m. makes Escondido's curfew consistent with the county, the city of San Diego and other neighboring cities, police said.

Curfews are intended to keep youths from becoming victims of crime or getting involved in criminal activity, Police Chief Jim Maher said.


Teens are permitted to be out past curfew for reasons such as traveling from a job or recreational, religious or school event, or doing an errand for a parent or guardian, Maher said.

"We're not going to stop a kid leaving a football game," he said, adding that the typical focus in on youths loitering in parking lots or parks.

Abed said a 10 p.m. curfew is "very restrictive," adding that he discussed the issue with his college- and high school-age daughters. The curfew penalizes "good kids," he said.

Escondido police increase curfew patrols during the summer. Youths arrested for violating curfew typically are released to their parents or guardians, but may be taken to Juvenile Hall. Officers may refer curfew violators to a diversion program that includes decision-making classes and community service.