PENDLETON - One citation has been issued since the city's daytime curfew went into effect Monday, and police say they have not received complaints about the ordinance.
In the only daytime curfew violation reported so far, Police Chief Stuart Roberts said an officer stopped an alternative-school student Monday and brought him back to class on Southwest Emigrant Avenue, but the student left school again.
Roberts said a letter was sent home to the student's parents informing them of the citation.
"Only time will tell (if this will work)," Roberts said of the curfew, which passed 7-1 by the Pendleton City Council last November despite opposition by students, parents and some other community members.
The daytime curfew drafted by Roberts is intended to reduce problems created by students who cut class or drop out of school, officials said. Problem areas have tended to include the Pendleton River Parkway, Bedford Bridge, Roy Raley Park, the Aquatic Center and the Sergeant City neighborhood (Northwest 14th and 15th streets and Northwest 15th Drive).
The ordinance is only in effect during school hours for Pendleton School District students ages 7 or older.
The first violation results in police returning minors home or to school and sending parents a letter describing the student's behavior.
A second violation results in the student being referred to the Umatilla County Juvenile Department and a citation for the parents.
Those cited may qualify for diversion if the minor doesn't violate the ordinance again within a year.
Police have a hotline number to the school district in their patrol cars to verify if a student is supposed to be in class or not, Roberts said. Officers also keep lists of students who are home-schooled or who attend the alternative school (which keeps different hours than other schools in the district) in their patrol cars.
Students who attend school in Helix or Pilot Rock - both districts which do not hold classes on Fridays - do not need to comply with the ordinance.
Officers can call those districts to verify the student's attendance there or the student can show a student ID.
"If they can show a student ID from one of those schools, then they're golden," Roberts said.
The ordinance does not apply to high school students during their lunch hours or to students who have a legitimate reason for being out of class such as a doctor's appointment or class assignment. Officers also will not stop a vehicle just because it has students in it, Roberts said.
"What would draw our attention is school-aged kids out wandering around up to something," Roberts said.
The ordinance will remain in effect until June 2006.