PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Do you know where your child is?

This is a question Peoria city leaders are posing to parents as officials get ready to strengthen enforcement of the city’s curfew ordinance.

City leaders are stressing the ordinance is not new, but they said the community could use a reminder.

“We have juveniles who are out past curfew,” Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria, said. “Parents don’t know where they’re at. We don’t want them to be a victim of a crime and we don’t want them committing crimes.”

This ramp-up comes after a violent 2021 where a number of juveniles were involved in fights, gun violence, homicides, and carjackings. Now, heading into the summertime, Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria said they’re hoping to leave the under-aged violence of 2021 in the past.

He said police are asking one request from parents.

“Know where your kids are at,” Echevarria said. “Know where they’re at. That’s their responsibility to know where their children are at.”

Echevarria said there needs to be more emphasis on safety and accountability.

“If it takes us as the police department to enforce curfew stronger to make parents more responsible then that’s what we’re going to do.”

He said police have issued curfew information online, officers have informed businesses of the rules, and there will soon be a PSA coming out as another reminder. He said the PSA will involve familiar faces from the police department and community.

Echevarria said there will soon be officers on the street looking for curfew violators, which could result in fines and citations.

“I don’t want anymore parent to have to bury a child because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Echevarria said.

Chuck Grayeb, Peoria Second District City Councilman, said years ago it wasn’t uncommon to see television messages asking parents do they know where they’re children are at night.

He said this community initiative should be supported as it’s a matter of peace and safety.

“I don’t think is is anything that should be controversial it should be basic,” Grayeb said.

Grayeb said he believes the curfew enforcement will show beneficial results right away.

“If we just prevent one terrible thing from happening it’s worth it because each one of our children is precious,” Grayeb said.

Below is the city’s curfew ordinance and hours currently in place:

12 and Under
All Evenings – between 9:00 pm – 6:00 am

13-16 Years Old
Sunday: 11:00 pm – 6:00 am
Monday: 11:00 pm – 6:00 am
Tuesday: 11:00 pm – 6:00 am
Wednesday: 11:00 pm – 6:00 am
Thursday: 11:00 pm – 6:00 am
Friday: 12:01am – 6:00 am
Saturday: 12:01am – 6:00 am

In addition to the City Curfew Ordinance, minors shall be held to the restrictions set forth by the state of Illinois as specified for holding a Graduated Driver’s License:

16-17 Years Old (Including age 15 in the permit phase)

Nighttime Driving Restrictions:
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 pm – 6:00 am
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 pm – 6:00 am

For the first 12 months of licensing, or until the driver turns 18, whichever occurs first, the
number of passengers is limited to one person under age 20, unless the passenger(s) is a sibling,
stepsibling, child, or stepchild of the driver. After this period, the number of passengers is
limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the back seat.