Proposed bill looks to end enforced curfew for kids and teens across Texas

Leander is looking to keep its enforced curfew for kids and teens. Meanwhile, a recently-filed bill in the state legislature seeks to end enforced curfews all together.

As Leander’s population continues to grow so does the number of curfew violations. The police department says keeping a curfew in turn keeps the kids safe.

“There is not much you need to be doing after midnight on the weekends or during the weekday,” said Slade Braswell, a Leander parent when asked if kids or teens should have a curfew. While growing up Braswell was no stranger to having a curfew.

“I don't know if there was a city curfew, I don't really remember, but I know my parents sure enforced one and it wasn't midnight that's for sure. I think midnight is a good one,” said Braswell.

Recently the city of Leander reviewed its curfew policy and decided to renew it.

“I'm going to impose one on my child, I think it's good the city imposes one. Midnight is pretty late I feel like for most high schoolers."

Those under the age of 17 must not be out past 12:01 a.m. during the week or 1 a.m. on the weekend.

"It gives the officers the tool to be able to interact with the children that might be out on the streets,” said Sgt. Luana Wilcox with Leander police.

Not everyone is up for the idea of having an enforced curfew, a recently proposed bill filed with the state, HB 1332 aims to get rid of enforced curfews. This means no penalty for kids and teens out late across the state if passed. Wilcox said the department isn't trying to target kids out after dark.

In Leander 41 curfew violations were reported last year with a citation only given to 13.

“The times were from 1:33 a.m. to 3:36 a.m. so it's not like right after curfew hits and a lot of these are involving other crimes or other things that are going on so it's not just a matter of walking down the street,” said Wilcox.

Wilcox said there are plenty of ways to get out of a curfew violation, like work. She said having a curfew helps keep kids and teens out of trouble.

“Curfew is really to keep our kids safe,” said Wilcox.

While this bill has yet to be passed, Braswell says he still plans to keep his own curfew in place at home for his kid whether the city has to or not.

Originally Austin had a late night curfew but the city council voted to end it back in 2017.

Leander will review the need to have a curfew again in three years.