Stakes High In San Diego Curfew Sweeps
Thursday, September 23, 2010
SAN DIEGO More than 3,100 juveniles were picked up by authorities in curfew sweeps during the last fiscal year, according to a report presented today to a San Diego City Council committee.
The San Diego Police Department, in conjunction with the Gang Commission, county Probation Department and various community organizations, conducted 46 curfew sweeps between July 1, 2009, and June 30 of this year, according to the report prepared for the Committee on Public Safety and Neighborhood Services.
More than half the sweeps took place in the SDPD Mid-City and Southeastern divisions.
Most of the youngsters were detained for curfew-related violations, but 109 were stopped for being drunk in public; 86 were arrested for resisting officers; 36 for burglary; 26 for driving under the influence; and 22 for auto theft, according to the SDPD.
The stakes are high, because 40 percent of violent crimes involving youth in the city of San Diego take place during the curfew hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., including more than half of all rapes.
Most of those picked up, once reunited with their parents, are turned over to the community groups, which include churches, the military, SAY San Diego and the Encanto Boys & Girls Club, which provide diversion services.
"The real key is the community involvement," Councilman Tony Young said. "These are neighborhood people who are stepping up, neighborhood groups who are stepping up. You are literally saving lives for what you have done."
The San Diego Unified School District has also become involved in the sweeps.
At a recent meeting of the SDUSD Board of Education, Superintendent Bill Kowba said he rode along on a sweep and called it an "an eye-opening experience."