Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana

February 21, 2012 by staff 

Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana, It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, but there is one big change this year. Police are enforcing a new curfew for teens.

New Orleans Mardi Gras is an intoxicating splendor to see, especially for wide-eyed kids. But they shouldn’t see everything.

So New Orleans police is enforcing a big change to the city’s curfew. No one under 16 is allowed alone in the French Quarter after 8 p.m. Commander Jeffery Walls says, “We were having kids that were being victims of crime and perpetrators of crime.”

Walls runs the New Orleans Police precinct in the French Quarter. He says, “At night it turns into more of an adult entertainment area.”

The clock has struck 8 p.m. in Jackson Square in New Orleans and now it’s time for the crazier side of the French Quarter to come alive. Maria Munoz Silva was walking with her children and was asked if this was a good place for children after 8 p.m. She says, “No not, down here, crowds are getting rowdy and seeing things they shouldn’t see, don’t tell them that.”

So just how many youngsters are running around unsupervised at night? New Orleans police say during this Mardi Gras 170 have been arrested so far for violating the curfew, that’s 20 percent of all Mardi Gras related arrests.

This seems to be one of the harder parts of enforcing this curfew is just how do you find someone under the age of 16 in a crowd like that.

Charles Dorsey sees underage revelers every night while he sells New Orleans Lucky Dogs. And also sees 17-year-olds taking care of 13-year-olds. He says, “You’ve got children watching children. That’s not a good combo.”

Curfew supporters say the French Quarter’s wild side is just too dangerous. And some sights are so bizarre, they just can’t be explained to a kid.

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