At the height of a horrible year of crime in Cambridge in 2022, a proposal came before the City Council to institute a youth curfew from February 1 to June 3 of 2023 to help reduce this surge of criminal activity. It was a highly-controversial recommendation at the time.
Similar curfew legislation has been proposed for several American cities facing high crime rates and had serious opposition for the curfew’s potential infringement on personal freedom, historical lack of effectiveness, and unfair targeting and profiling. Nonetheless, the Cambridge Council agreed to an experimental period to assess the impact of such a law.
On Monday night, Cambridge Chief of Police Justin Todd reported to the Council his department’s findings, which included the fact that the curfew did not directly impact crime and the recommendation from Chief Todd and his officers that the program continue.
That might seem like poor logic until you hear the police chief highlight some of the collateral benefits that emerged from the fourth-month test. As it turns out, the Cambridge curfew resulted in remarkable improvements in how the police and young kids (and their parents) interacted.
With other Eastern Shore communities seriously considering similar curfew laws, the Spy asked Chief Todd to join us on Zoom to understand more about the Cambridge experiment.
This video is approximately ten minutes in length.