Curfews for Adults?: Only In Lumberton

It seems that there’s a particular officer that insists upon enforcing a curfew ordinance on adults. Generally, it’s very difficult to obtain access to public records at Lumberton’s city hall but after yesterday’s special call meeting, I went into the office to look at the minute books and to obtain a copy of the curfew ordinance. Well, at least part of my request was granted. The deputy clerk informed me that they had a copy of the curfew ordinance and gave me a copy after I paid $1.75 (fee for printing). After looking over the ordinance, I realized it was temporary curfew ordinance that was specifically adopted for enforcement in Turnkey (that’s what it had listed on the ordinance) and not the curfew ordinance that was adopted by the board in 2009. Since I am still awaiting permission to view the minutes, I don’t know the exact date when the new ordinance was adopted but let’s say this is the only ordinance they have on file. If so, then Officer Unfriendly is not operating within the boundaries outlines in Ordinance 227 or 277 ( the number on the page is very faint and hard to read).

According to the paperwork I received, it stated that the curfew ordinance was drafted per the request of the executive director of public housing because there was a high number of incidents/crimes being committed in certain areas of the City of Lumberton including a number of incidents of fighting, drug and alcohol possession and abuse, thefts, assaults and general disturbances of the health and welfare of the City of Lumberton. I don’t think any of these violations are being committed by the individuals that gather in a vacant lot on the weekend. Now correct me if I’m wrong. However, many of these incidents are still taking place on Myrick Avenue but for some reason, police officers are not telling people to stop gathering on corners and in the middle of the road. Interesting.

The Curfew Ordinance I was given was adopted August 5, 2000 when the late Russell Ladner was Mayor of Lumberton .Greg Cooley, Thomas Rheams, Cleo Marsh, and Stanley Rayborn voted yea for the ordinance and Curtis Merritt abstained which means his vote was counted with the majority. JoAnn Ladner was the city clerk which lets you know the minutes were going to be in order. One of the most interesting parts of the ordinance was the fact that the curfew ordinance was established for designated area and was imposed for a period not to exceed six (6) months in duration. It was stated that at the end of the initial period, the Board of Aldermen shall determine if those special circumstances remain in existence. As I stated, I was not granted access to the minutes so I cannot verify if any other actions were taken or if the ordinance was extended. Again, this was the curfew ordinance from 2000. If memory serves me correctly, there was another curfew ordinance that was adopted in 2009 but both were directed towards minors not adults.

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