Macon police officers stepped up their late night patrols this sumer to keep teens off the street between midnight and 5 am, and they say their efforts are paying off.
"We've issued 19 citations for violation of the curfew to either the parent or legal guardian of the offenders. Three juveniles have been charged with entering autos, and we have picked up two listed runaways," says Major Robert Grabowski with the Macon Police Department.
He says it's not just about catching and arresting; the goal is prevention.
"We've gotten better at intel, at gathering intelligence to where parties are going to be located at," says Grabowski.
City council member Virgil Watkins says the police department shouldn't have to battle curfew violations alone.
He says, "It's one of the highlights to some of the grants we're trying to establish, so we can come up with avenues. You always hear me talking about midnight basketball was a big one for me when I was a child. Trying to develop these programs, that is something we lack in and need to do a better job of."
A Macon neighborhood watch program says they do t heir part to get a handle on teen behavior at an early age.
Benny Heinzelmann, a member of the watch group, says, "Kids come here to play basketball. They come here to ride their bicycles, fix their tires on the bicycles. I let them borrow my tools. It keeps the kids out of trouble and it's teaching them respect."
And since the police stepped up their patrols this summer, the neighborhood group has more time to focus on fun instead of watching the streets at night.
Another watch member, Greg Hamlin, says, "Police response time when we do see traffic is a lot quicker, and it's been a lot quieter since this curfew's been revved up."
Grabowski says it's not just the officers that deserve the credit. He says watch programs and parental involvement are still the main ingredients for keeping teens off the streets and out of trouble at night.