At their most recent meeting, the Mammoth Town Council approved a curfew ordinance that will make it illegal for children under the age of eighteen to be out on the streets after 10:00 at night.
When the law is finalized, the Mammoth Police will be able to arrest kids after 10:00 at night if they don't have a legitimate reason to be out.
A law that limits a person's freedom is bound to make many people uneasy, even if it is practical. Given that, there were few citizens who spoke out against the curfew ordinance at the council meeting. Alison Knight thought the ten o'clock hour was too early for weekends in the summer. She asked the council to consider later hours for the curfew in the summer.
Police Chief Randy Scheinle said that the ten o'clock hour matches up well with the Mono County curfew ordinance.
Knight also had concerns with the fact that the curfew violation was a misdemeanor. Chief Schienle explained that it had to be a misdemeanor so that they could arrest a juvenile. If they were writing tickets for an infraction the kids could go free after an officer wrote the ticket, defeating the purpose of the curfew, according to Schienle.
Chief Schienle went on to explain that the Police aren't going to start arresting kids at 10:01 every evening. He said that the curfew would be a tool that they could use to tell a child that they had to go home when the find them in parks or Jacuzzis at midnight.
Chief Scheinle repeated the point that the Police would enforce the spirit of this law rather than the letter.
Mayor Kirk Stapp did address concerns of possible excessive Police power when he said that if the Police abuse this curfew ordinance the council would put it back on the agenda and amend it.
With three members of the council present, the vote was unanimous to approve the 10:00 curfew.