Board of Mayor and Aldermen extend curfew ahead of graduations

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The City of Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen during its regular meeting Monday took extra steps to ensure there will be no gap in the citywide curfew for minors ahead of this week’s graduation ceremonies.

Following the regular session, the board recessed momentarily while City Attorney Lee D. Thames Jr. crafted a resolution to be approved in order to keep the 11 p.m. curfew in force for juveniles. 

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. explained the curfew, which was first approved in 2022 in response to an increase in juvenile crime, must be approved every thirty days. With Monday’s meeting originally planned for Friday, May 10, Flaggs said a failure by the board to vote on an extension would have left a gap in the curfew until the city’s next meeting on Monday, May 20. In the meantime, at least four schools will hold graduation ceremonies in Vicksburg.

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“You know what happened Friday night at the ballgame,” Flaggs said in reference to a fight at Vicksburg High School’s spring football game last week. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to go forward with this. That’s what I was trying to avoid.”

Although last week’s disturbance did not happen during the hours the curfew prohibits minors from being in public spaces alone, Flaggs said graduation celebrations often extend past the 11 p.m. deadline.

Thames said the curfew, which runs from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m., will continue to be reinstated every 30 days, with the board next scheduled to extend the rule at its regular meeting Monday, June 10.

The curfew applies only to minors under the age of 18 and exceptions include: the minor being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian; the minor being involved in an emergency or seeking medical attention; the minor traveling to or from work (the minor must carry written evidence of employment); the minor is attending an activity sponsored by a school, religious or civic organization, by a public organization or agency, or by another similar organization or entity, which activity is supervised by adults, and/or the minor  is going to or returning from such activity without detour or stop; or the minor is exercising First Amendment rights provided by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the rights of assembly.