Teenagers in the city of Hueytown are under a curfew for one week only. Friday is Hueytown High School's homecoming game. By tradition, in the week leading up to the contest students play practical jokes on each other and people in the community. Most of it is harmless, but a few years back some of the pranks did cross the line.
"We literally had significant property damage," said Hueytown Police Chief Chuck Hagler.
That's when city leaders took action. Hagler says homes were spray painted, mailboxes destroyed, and a car was set on fire. There was even a case, where peoples lives were put in jeopardy.
"We had an incident where a homeowner was so upset he came outside with a gun in his hand. It got to the point where we realized we need some tools to address the situation," said Hagler.
A curfew was created. Mayor Delor Baumann says this is the 8th year the city has had the ordinance. Since enacting it, there has been a significant decrease in complaints.
"We want the kids to have fun but, sometimes it had gotten out of hand a little bit," said Baumann.
During homecoming week, anyone under the age of 18 has to be indoors by 10:00pm and must remain there until 5:00am. Chief Hagler says the curfew gives officers the power to stop problems before they start.
"It's not illegal for five teenagers to be riding around with 10 cans of spray paint in the car. But this time of year that's a pretty good indication that there is going to be a problem," said Hagler.
"The police are here to protect the citizens, but I think we'd rather be going on calls that are more significant than chasing kids late at night," said Baumann.
Most residents Fox 6 talked with agreed the curfew is a good idea.
"I think it's great! It will keep down on vandalism," said one resident.
"I think it's a good thing, to keep them (kids) out of trouble around here," said another.
Baumann said the response he's gotten has also been positive.
"Parents have been supportive, even the kids, they accept it," he said.
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