The locations of Cincinnati Juvenile Curfew Centers -- initially set to be held at two local churches -- have recently been changed after Cincinnati police and Mayor John Cranley received complaints over the violation of separation of church and state.
Mayor Cranley initially released his “Summer Safety Initiative Plan" last week with the intention of establishing Juvenile Curfew Centers at the local Church of the Living God, and First Baptist Church of Cumminsville.
The Mayor’s plan is meant to increase safety by decreasing the number of shootings, instituting a curfew for kids, providing a safe place for children to play, among other progressive actions, according to Patheos. The plan, which first stated that kids who are caught violating curfew would be sent to either of the centers held at the local churches, was announced June 10 and allowed for kids to be kept in the Curfew Centers staffed by Clergy, Citizens on Patrol, and three officers.
The location of the centers that are to be open nightly over the summer from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., has since changed due to a number of complaints regarding the separation of church and state, according to the Cincinnati Police Department. The complaints have since prompted officials to move the centers to two of the city’s recreation centers: Hirsch Recreation Center in Avondale and McKie Recreation Center in Northside, FOX 19 reports.
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“After concerns were raised about utilizing churches, it was determined that these centers would be the best options to provide safe supervision for youth in the city,” Police Chief Jeffery Blackwell announced in a statement released on Monday afternoon.
Patheos, like many Cincinnati locals, questioned the legality of the initial draft of the plan.
“So kids who are out late will be taken to one of two local churches, where Christian leaders are handed fresh meat to peach the gospel to?” an article on Patheos reads. “That can’t be legal.”
According to Patheos, after realizing the unconstitutional nature of the approach, the Mayor’s office worked quickly to change the plan.
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The two newly chosen recreation centers are located in close proximity to each of the five police districts in Cincinnati, reports FOX 19. The curfew for kids under 15 years old is 10 p.m., while the curfew for 16- and 17-year-olds is midnight.
Photo Credit: JCOnline, FOX 19 Screenshot