Oakmont's mayor and police chief are urging Oakmont Council to consider a curfew for juveniles, saying it would curb night-time crime.
With neighboring communities like Verona and Penn Hills enforcing curfews for people younger than 18 years old, Oakmont has become a gathering place for juveniles who aren't always repectful to the community, according to Mayor Robert Fescemyer and Chief of Police Dave DiSanti. Because of this, Fescemyer and DiSanti want Oakmont Council to consider introducing a curfew.
"We’ve had a lot of problems with juveniles doing things late at night," Fescemyer said. "We’ve had some serious vandalism in our parks, car break-ins and a couple was harassed on Maryland Avenue during a walk by some young people."
Council has yet to raise the issue in a meeting. Fescemyer and DiSanti are proposing a curfew from 10 or 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
"We're trying to protect the interest of the community, children and parents and guardians," DiSanti said. "At that particular time, it's not good for juveniles to be out anyway."
Any juvenile out during those times without a legitimate reason, like going home from work, would be in violation of the curfew. Currently, according to Fescemyer, Oakmont police officers cannot stop and question anyone unless they are violating laws.
"We want to use this as a vehicle to get children back home and protect the community from underage drinking, vandalism and any other trouble," DiSanti said. "We'll use discretion and common sense. It's not intended to affect kids doing something legitimate. If a kid is working after hours and he's walking home, we'll let him go on his way. We're looking for kids who are running the streets without supervision."
According to Fescemyer, a violator’s first offense would get him or her a ride home. The second offense would come with a citation, and three or more would require a fine. The fines, Fescemyer said, may have parents more involved in making sure their children were home at night.
Fescemyer said he’s asked some Oakmont council members to discuss the curfew.
"I haven’t asked everyone," he said. "A few like it and a few don’t."
Councilmember Tim Favo said commenting on the proposed curfew would be premature.
"Although [Fescemyer and DiSanti] mentioned it in the last public meeting, we as a council never had it brought up to us before that and have not had any discussion," Favo said.
Fescemyer said he was going to try to get the topic added to the agenda for the next council meeting and hopes council approves the curfew as soon as possible.
"As the weather gets nicer, more kids are going to be out," he said. "It would be wonderful to have this enacted for the summer time."