Will enforcing curfew in the city help prevent crime? One Milwaukee Alderman thinks the issue needs pressing

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Can you put a curfew on crime? Some city leaders claim that could be the cure to some of the worst crime in Milwaukee.

Summer break is meant for children and teens to enjoy, but things can get mischievous as the sun goes down.

"A lot of problems in Milwaukee are being caused by juveniles. A lot of crime and disorder, it`s not uncommon to see young people roaming through the streets at night committing acts of vandalism or of crime stealing cars, you name it," said Bob Donovan, Milwaukee Alderman.

That's why Donovan is being very vocal about nuisance activities, and what he calls lack of enforcement in curfew.

By city law, from Memorial Day, children under the age of 17-years-old are not allowed on the streets from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., Friday and Saturday.

"It`s to our advantage to have our young people at home where they belong after hours. That makes sense for their safety, as well as other citizens safety, when you got individuals up to know good," said Donovan.

Residents like Sonya Strothers say they are doing what they can to keep an eye on juveniles out late.

"I`m noticing why police are not picking them up," said Strothers. "Trying to connect with other areas just to see if people are interested in forming a 24 hour block watch."

Donovan feels attention to the matter has declined.

"Our decreasing number of curfew citations issued over the number of years has significantly come down, from a high of well over 2,000 in 2006 roughly to 73 for this year to date, so that concerns me a lot," said Donovan.

He believes that a future uptick in enforcement could be one way to help Milwaukee's apparent violence problem.

"I don`t believe we are going to get a better handle on maintaining order in our neighborhood and stabilizing our neighbor unless we get more officers to do that," said Donovan.

Both the teen and their parents can be given a ticket when the teen is found violating the city curfew. The fine is $74 dollars for kids under 18-years-old, and $175 dollars for adults.