Rounding Up Criminals Is Hard. Let's Try Kids.


As part of its much-anticipated "crime emergency" plan, D.C. has changed its curfew, and unaccompanied 16-year-olds out past 10 p.m. are now breaking the law. District teenagers may wonder what the hell a new curfew has to do with the city's "crime emergency." They might also wonder why the city is wasting resources chasing down kids in the midst of said emergency. Well, Police Chief Ramsey doesn't have answers to those questions. But he does have some parenting advice:

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday that the city had to set the new 10 p.m. curfew for youths 16 and younger because of "irresponsible" parents who don't control their children.

"You shouldn't need a curfew if you've got parents who are responsible," Ramsey said on Washington Post Radio. "But unfortunately we've got some parents here that are totally irresponsible. Their idea of raising a kid is throwing a kid out of the house and letting them straggle back in at 2 o' clock in the morning."

So there you have it: It's not that city officials want to play parent to every kid in the district. It's just that, gosh, turns out law enforcement professionals are better parents. And the problem isn't criminals as such. It's the "potential victims" who dare stand outside when criminals are likely to strike.

D.C. officials celebrate a job well done here.