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Baltimore Residents React To Stricter Curfew

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In just a few weeks, Baltimore City will have the toughest curfew laws in the country and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is hoping to set the records straight on all that the law entails.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the new law and whether residents think it will work.

The mayor is hoping this new law will not only keep kids safe but also expose those families who are in need of critical parental guidance.

Mob scenes like one in Fells Point may be avoided as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pushes for more control of the city's youth, with stricter curfews set to take affect next month.

"If you ask anyone if there are young people who are unsupervised, the answer is yes," said Rawlings-Blake.

This weekend, the mayor is reaching out to residents in hopes they will come out to a forum being held on Monday to answer any questions about the law and address concerns.

"Make sure they understand the purpose and what's actually going to happen with the curfew law," said Rawlings-Blake.

With the new law, teens under 14 years old have to be off the streets by 9 p.m. Those 14 to 16 years of age can stay out no later than 10 during the week and no later than 11 on the weekends and during the summer.

But will it work?

"I don't know if it's going to do anything," said one teen.

"It's already been in place in Panama and all the kids do is break the rules and nothing really is done about it," said Alexandra Diaz-Albertini.

The law, while meant to do more good than harm, is drawing criticism from parents who, with the new law could be fined $500 if their kids are out late.

A stiff price to pay but other parents say it could help.

"Maybe they would be more strict if they had to pay $500," said Ieasha Daughtery.

The $500 could be waived if parents sign up for parental guidance classes provided by the city.

The forum is being held at Morgan State University Monday at 7.

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