Newark curfew for minors set to begin Friday

The clock is ticking in Newark, NJ for teens that are out without a parent or guardian late at night.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and his public safety team announced that beginning Friday, a teen curfew will be enforced, making it unlawful for any person under the age of 18 to be out on the street, or more than 100 yards away from their home, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. 

The rules won't apply to minors accompanied by parents or guardians, or those traveling to and from work. 

Kids caught outside their homes during those hours will first get a verbal warning. 

If they're caught doing it again, their parents will have to pick them up from the police station. No minors will be arrested, but repeat violations will result in a call to child protective services. 

"Newark has always been a city that has its challenges around crime," said Ameer Washington, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Newark.

Washington said he believes the controversial curfew could help curb gun violence and gang activity. 

"Obviously, there's participation in gangs and, you know, criminal activities for some young people," Washington said. "So, I think it's a good thing, quite frankly, and safety is important to us, too."

The curfew has technically been on the books for over 80 years, existing since 1943.

The city has launched crackdowns in the past, including during the summer and around certain holidays, but this time, officials say it will be enforced around the clock – seven days a week. 

Meanwhile, Newark isn't the only city in Essex County to have a curfew. Other municipalities that have them include Irvington, East Orange and Cedar Grove.