The ordinance, co-sponsored by every member of the Council, will likely be passed at the April 19 council meeting. The public will be allowed to speak first on the issue.
The curfew will go into effect immediately if it is passed.
"This council believes that a curfew is desperately needed," said City Council President Christopher Campos as the curfew was introduced.
The curfew is a direct response to a perceived increase in teen violence, gang activity, and open-air drug dealing, especially in the area of the Hoboken Housing Authority.
On Feb. 17 in the wee hours of the morning, 18-year-old high school senior Ismar "Mookie" Mineros was shot and killed near the 500 Block of Jackson Street on the property of the HHA projects. Antonio Rivera Jr., 19, of Harrison Street, was charged with the shooting.
Mayor David Roberts said in a statement Thursday, "I fully agree with the City Council's desire to implement a curfew. It has proved successful in other local communities, and we expect that it will have same impact here." According to the ordinance, it will be unlawful for anyone under 18 to be on public streets in Hoboken between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. weekdays during the school year, and between 11:59 p.m. at 5 a.m. on weekends and every night during the summer.
Exemptions to the rule
The ordinance establishes several exemptions from the curfew law:
* When a parent of legal guardian accompanies the minor.
* When accompanied by another adult who is authorized in writing by a parent, for a designated time and purpose.
* When the minor is on the sidewalk or on the property where they live.
* When going to or coming home from an official extracurricular activity or other official cultural, educational, recreational, sporting or social event sponsored by the school, city, religious, civic, or other community-based association.
* By special permit issued by the chief of police.
* When the juvenile carries a certified card of employment dated or re-issued not more than 45 days previously, signed by the employers and the chief of police identifying the minor's name, address, employers, and hours of work.
* On an errand at the direction of the parent or guardian for the purpose of responding to a medical problem or emergency.
* If the minor is married.
* When engaged in an activity protected by the First Amendment, so long as the chief receives prior written notice in advance of the event and the written permission of his or her legal guardian.
Enforcement and penalties
If a police officer believes a juvenile is violating the curfew, the officer can deliver the minor to the parent or guardian. The officer will then, within 24 hours, file a police report.
In the case of a first violation, the Police Department will send, by certified mail, a warning to the parent or guardian that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of the curfew ordinance. No monetary penalty will be enforced the first time.
Starting with second time, a juvenile and his parents will each be fined $50, then $100, and then not less than $150 and not more than $1,000 for each additional violation.
Also, both the parent and minor, if convicted, could be required to perform community service.