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Police in Ybor planning to catch curfew breakers

Warnings appear to be working, but Tampa police plan to send an even stronger message about the city's new and improved juvenile curfew starting Saturday night.

"This weekend we're planning a roundup in Ybor City," Tampa police Maj. John Bushell said Thursday. "Next weekend we will select a location somewhere else in the city. We're open to suggestions" on where that should be.

Sgt. Lois Marrero said that late Saturday, about two hours before midnight, officers will remind teenagers 16 and younger in Ybor City that they need to start for home soon.

Those still on the streets after midnight will be escorted to the Ybor Room at Hillsborough Community College, where they will be held until their parents pick them up.

Bushell said police plan to use the curfew, which is 11 p.m. on school nights and midnight on Friday and Saturday, mainly to encourage juveniles to stay off the street and to help parents trying to control their children.

Police do not plan to charge juveniles who violate the curfew unless they do so repeatedly or resist officers. Bushell said charges should not be necessary in most cases.

Last weekend, officers gave teens warnings after the curfew, which the City Council amended on July 18. After the first few warnings, Bushell said most of the juveniles remaining in Ybor City left quickly.

Using the room at HCC will enable officers to drop the teens off, complete a small amount of paperwork and return to patrol in Ybor City with little delay, Bushell said.