Jasper County Sheriff's Office proposes curfew to combat crime

JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - Teens in Jasper County may soon have a curfew.

The Jasper County Sheriff's Office and County Council are looking at an ordinance that would require teens to be off the streets at a certain time. Officials say statistics suggests teens are committing many of the violent crimes in Jasper County. This curfew is an effort to get them off of the streets and hopefully prevent those violent crimes from happening.

Jasper County Sheriff Gregory Jenkins announced at a crime meeting Wednesday night that they are working on a plan that would require children to be in the house by a certain time.

"It will be beneficial based on what we've see, what's happening with our young people right now. It's going to play an integral part until we can get a better grip and communication with our young people, I think it's going to be interesting. Without it being involved, we'll never know," said Sheriff Jenkins.

About a dozen parents attending the meeting supported the idea of a curfew – many of them expressed frustration over the recent shootings involving teens.

"It breaks my heart. It absolutely breaks my heart because their grandmothers and their parents are suffering. The curfew needs to happen yesterday because nothing good goes on after 10 o'clock at night," said Allison Pace, Jasper County resident.

County Council Vice Chairman Martin Sauls says getting kids off of the streets at a certain time would be a step in the right direction.

"Statistics show that the younger age group is where these violent acts are being committed," said Sauls.

But he admits a county wide curfew will have its challenges.

"I'm not sure if it's enforceable. You're looking at an entire county. That's going to be a challenge within itself even if we do implement to enforce it, so we have to look at all areas and see what's going to be the best for the community so that people feel safe," said Sauls.

The council says the curfew isn't going to happen overnight. The chairman says they would have to discuss it in a workshop before they can vote on it.

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