A tradition that dates back more than 50 years will return at the beginning of next month when the annual countywide curfew is put in place during the month of October.
Highland County Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Judge Kevin Greer said in a news release that the curfew will run from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 for anyone under the age of 18. He said it requires all persons under the age of 18 to be off the streets and in their homes by 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and by midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The curfew does not apply where children are accompanied by parents, legals or custodians. Exceptions are also made for children attending church, school or employment activities, according to the news release.
“Enforcement will be handled by all law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff’s department, city or village police, and juvenile probation officers,” the news release said.
Greer said in the news release that he has no authority to set a time and date for Beggar’s Night for each jurisdiction, but suggested it be set across the county for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 as a convenience to law enforcement agencies.
Halloween falls this year on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The tradition of an October curfew dates back to 1965, former Highland County Juvenile Court Judge Richard Davis previously told The Times-Gazette.
Davis said in an interview a few years ago that the curfew goes back at least to the late 1950s, when his predecessor, Orland Roades, was in office.
According to Davis, when Roades was on the bench, he simply issued an order establishing a countywide curfew around the time of Halloween, but when Davis took office in 1965, he said he found there was no regular procedure in place to issue such an order. So, he drafted an ordinance that allowed the juvenile judge to set a uniform curfew.
Before that, the various cities and villages in the county had all kinds of different curfews, which Davis said often led to confusion.
Greer previously told The Times-Gazette he is not sure where the idea of an October curfew originated, but he assumes it started as a way to keep kids from pulling pranks like soaping windows.
He said he does not see an increase in juvenile offenses in October.
Actually, Greer said, most villages and the one city in Highland County have juvenile curfews that are in effect all year.
“What this does is enforce it out in the county as well,” Greer said.
In Hillsboro, there is a year-round curfew that requires juveniles to be off the street by midnight, unless they’re going to or from church, school or employment, or they are with a parent or guardian.