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Curfew crackdown coming to Warrensburg

WARRENSBURG From now on county law officers are going to show no mercy for unaccompanied youths on Warrensburgs streets past the town curfew, town board members warned this week. Town councilman Dean Ackley said Wednesday that hed talked to Sheriff Bud York about citizens concerns about recent vandalism cases, and York said hed beef up patrols and issue tickets to violators rather than driving children home in police cars, which was a prior practice. Ackley, the towns liaison to law enforcement, spoke on behalf of the town council to publicize the new, tougher enforcement policy. Ackley said that not only would children under 18 receive violations, but parents would also be ticketed for not keeping their children at home after 10 p.m. weekdays or 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Curfew violations carry fines of $100 for first-time offenders and $250 for repeat violators. Also, adults other than parents of the children who conceal or aid youths violating the curfew are subject to the same fines. Ackley said Wednesday that the crackdown was just in time for a problem thats likely to erupt soon. With the weather becoming warm this week, things will be escalating now, he said. The Chaos Crew will be out on the streets again. The Chaos Crew is a term for a group of local teenagers Ackley described as wannabe thugs who prowl the streets and vandalize. Theyve caused considerable damage with spray paint and some of them were recently caught smuggling weapons into the Warrensburg High School, he said. Ackley said tough curfew enforcement would prompt them to move their activity to another community, as they have in the past. Nearly three years ago, spiraling vandalism and unruly nighttime gatherings spurred a group of residents to form a citizens posse, or nighttime patrol which drove the group out of town. But the recent warmer weather has fueled an increase in lawless behavior, Ackley said. Just several weeks ago, a yet-unidentified vandal caused thousands of dollars of damage in a crime police are keeping under wraps because they are still investigating.

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