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DETROIT, Mich. -- The City Council approved an agreement Tuesday that allows outside law agencies to help patrol next week's fireworks and enacted a curfew for teenagers attending the event.
The measure to place a curfew on young people at Monday's event was affirmed by a 5-4 vote.
The proposed curfew requires anyone younger than 17 to be accompanied by an adult between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. It exempts young people traveling from work, school or a recreation-sponsored activity. The city's standard curfew is 10 p.m.
The idea of a stricter curfew for the fireworks bothered some council members, who said the city didn't need further restrictions on teenagers.
"The language in this ordinance makes the assumption that every young person out there for the fireworks is a thug and is looking to get up to something. That's the problem I have with it," said Councilman Kenneth Cockrel Jr., who added he remembered going to the event unaccompanied with his friends.
"The kids that are troublemakers, this is not going to stop them from showing up and getting up to something. They are not going to be aware of it. They don't follow local public policy (or) read the news. We are going to have to be ready to deal with it whether this is in place or not."
Police Chief Ralph Godbee said during a committee hearing Monday he was concerned about potential gang activity during the fireworks.
The emergency ordinance gives police another tool to use rather than giving out misdemeanor tickets, Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said. Violation of the curfew would be considered a civil infraction that could result in a fine.
"The advent of social media being able to rally large amounts of young people, this is a tool that absolutely essential for the Police Department," Brown said. "We all want a safe event and this is just a tool that will help ensure that."
While she understands the majority of young people are law-abiding citizens, council member Saunteel Jenkins said it's a measure that helps keep everyone safe. "The way I see it, this keeps them safe, too," Jenkins said. "It gives the police a tool to weed out those who are not there just to see the fireworks and have a good time and (those) who would possibly disrupt the event and people's lives."
The council also approved an agreement to reimburse other local communities about $172,000 for using officers to help patrol the fireworks. Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County sheriff's offices, Michigan State Police and federal authorities are helping to patrol the 54th annual fireworks set for Monday.
But because of the city's financial crisis, city officials have said other special events such as the Thanksgiving Day parade could be in jeopardy if other funding sources are not found.