Garland police are not letting their guard down against teen curfew violators just because school is back in session. In fact the department is increasing patrols.
When the sun goes down in Garland, the teens come out at Firewheel.
"It gets younger every year," said Garland resident, Alicia Baldwin.
While teenagers under 17 are free to go see movies and hang out at Firewheel, by a certain time of night the city's curfew is in effect.
"Its been a law since 1994, but school is starting back up," said Joe Harn, with the Garland police department. "Kids have gotten used to being out maybe later and we're letting them know that there is a curfew."
In Garland, teenagers under 17 can not be out in public without a parent after 11 p.m. Monday through Thursdays, and after midnight on the weekends. The only exception is if the teen is traveling to or from work, or if he or she is coming from a school function.
"We find that some of our more serious crimes many time happen late at night and especially we don't want our kids injured or hurt," said Harn.
Garland police are stepping up patrols to enforce the curfew. Friday night alone officers issued 15 to 20 curfew violation citations to teenagers.
"There was a group of girls that decided to go to a park last night somewhere around 2 in the morning," Harn said.
"They don't need to be out that late," said Baldwin.
The curfew no longer applies to Baldwin or her boyfriend, Scott Brand. They're now 17. Even though Brand admits he was guilty of breaking curfew himself at one point, both teens now see the reason behind the law.
"I think its a good idea because kids are doing all sorts of things nowadays," said Brand.
"I just see them walking around and if you're walking around what are you doing," said Baldwin. "You're going to get bored and you know who knows what you're going to start doing."
The fines for a curfew violation can be as high as $500. Both parents and businesses who allow teens under 17 in their establishment after hours can also face citations as well. Garland police will have increased patrols to deal with the curfew enforcement for the next couple of weeks.