Southaven mayor tries to halt teen loitering - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven mayor tries to halt teen loitering

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Teenagers that gather outside the Malco DeSoto theatre and restaurants in Southaven will soon have to find another place to hang out.

Teens who loiter in Southaven could soon face a fine or up to 90 days in jail, if Southaven officials approve a proposal made by Mayor Greg Davis.

"For the last 12 to 18 months, my office has been returning calls about people driving through parking lots in Malco or some of the other businesses over there not being able to get through," Davis said.

According to Davis, it is almost impossible at times to get through parking lots off Goodman Road, especially on weekends. Davis said businesses like Starbucks and McDonalds are bearing the brunt of it.

"Young people have a tenancy to congregate, as we all did when we were young, but when it becomes a traffic safety issue we've got to find a way to address it," he said.

Assistant Southaven Police Chief Steve Pirtle said the city currently has a curfew law to handle juveniles, but a new ordinance will help prevent problems.

"There have been a few times when, because of the crowds, there have been fights as a result of the gatherings, so we want to make sure that doesn't happen again," he said.

Business owner Ron Hebert believes kids will be kids, but safety should come first.

"They need to keep the sidewalks clear," he said. "Let the customers come in that are paying customers, let them have a place to park, let them feel safe pulling in."

The ordinance Davis proposed will go to the Southaven Board of Aldermen for consideration at their October 6th meeting.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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