Cambridge curfew vote postponed, but leaders expect measure to pass despite community push back at recent hearing
CAMBRIDGE, Md- The town of Cambridge has pushed back a vote for its controversial curfew measure for kids under 16, but the Town’s Mayor Stephen Rideout says he believes it’s all but certain to pass at the next town council meeting.
Rideout tells 47ABC, he does not support the measure, which he believes is going to cause legal challenges for the town with enforcement.
“At our last meeting we had ACLU members raise that these curfews target black teens historically in a way that violates the constitution,” he said.
At Monday’s town council meeting, Rideout says only one speaker was for the measurer, with many voicing their objections to the measure that aims to prevent kids in Cambridge from being out late at night.
He says despite that pushback he says he has found a silver lining.
Rideout tells 47ABC the attention the curfew generated has opened up channels of communication for the town and advocacy groups to help design better after-school programming and community service options, which he believes are a better long-term solution to truancy, and disparate economic outcomes.
“In the long run I don’t think the curfew is what we ought to be doing I am very positive about the fact we are working together to get some services to kids here which have not been done successfully in the past,” Rideout said.
Rideout tells 47ABC he has reached out to Nancy Shockley of the Dorchester County Local Management Board, who is coordinating services from local child-serving agencies including the national Department of Juvenile Justice.
Rideout says the curfew, while a mistake in his view, is opening is getting stakeholders invested in child care in a way that ” has been missing in this area and should have been done a long time earlier,” Rideout said.
He tells us these groups can offer the staff and funding to help give children an alternative they want to take advantage of.
“What will really solve the problem is providing services to the families and these youth to find out what is going to help them,” Rideout said.
The Mayor will be meeting with local middle and high school students later in the week to help identify needs and programs for the students.