Arrests 13 juveniles violating curfew
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- In an effort to curb the summer crime rate, local authorities contributed in a curfew sweep across the county for juvenile offenders on Wednesday, July 10.
The countywide sweep involved officers from the Palm Bay Police Department, Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Melbourne Police Department, West Melbourne Police Department, Rockledge Police Department, Cocoa Police Department, Satellite Beach Police Department, Cocoa Beach Police Department and Titusville Police Department.
Officials said the officers made more than 187 curfew checks that night and arrested more than 13 juveniles violating curfew across Brevard County.
Yvonne Martinez, information officer for the Palm Bay Police Department, said juvenile offenders are often issued a curfew until their 19th birthday.
Of the number of checks conducted on the July 10 sweep, Palm Bay officers conducted 85 curfew checks and made seven arrests.
"These juveniles and their parents need to know that law enforcement and probation are constantly working together to hold them accountable," said Officer Chris Jones, who is responsible for monitoring juvenile activity in Palm Bay. "A significant portion of our crime is committed by juveniles and many of them are re-offending. It's our job to make sure there are consequences for their actions."
Officer Jones is one of two youth service officers assigned to the Palm Bay Police Department's Special Operations Divisions. It is the division's responsibility to monitor the 77 juveniles currently on probation in the city.
Officials said juveniles are on probation for crimes such as burglary, battery, grand theft, drugs and various other crimes that can negatively impact the community.
Officer Martinez said the department will continue enforcing these curfew checks throughout the summer, but there will likely not be another wide-spread sweeping effort like the one made on July 10.
"The checks are necessary, not only to ensure compliance and enforce consequences, but they go a long way in preventing additional criminal acts by offending juveniles," she said.
Officer Martinez said these checks are important to have during the summer, due to schools being closed for summer vacation.