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VIDEO Cuyahoga Falls Police Argue Curfew Will Help Halt 'Drug Deals' and 'Gang-Related Activity' Along Riverfront

Police chief and mayor echo concerns of minors unsupervised along riverfront.

Cuyahoga Falls City Council met Monday night to discuss a proposed curfew for minors along the riverfront.

During the last two summers, officers said they’ve seen an increase in the number of unattended minors and violent incidents, from the amphitheater, which host Rockin' on the River concerts, to the fountain near the entrance to .

“The idea wasn’t to necessarily ban people under 18 from coming down to the area, but rather have them come down with family members, with a parent, with an adult responsible for them,” said Police Capt. Jack Davis. “We really feel that by doing that it will increase the safety for all our visitors down there, especially the younger ones.”

During the public discussion, Cuyahoga Falls Police Chief Tom Pozza stepped up to the podium to address concerns regarding reported drug dealing, assaults and gang member profiling along the riverfront, especially in the area underneath the Portage Trail bridge.

“Last summer we had a couple of Akron police department gang unit detectives hook up with some of my officers down on the riverfront, specifically to identify gangbangers from the city of Akron,” said Pozza.

“We need to utilize this ordinance, not as a weapon to ban good kids from Rockin' on the River, but as a weapon just to keep the peace in order," he said.

See more of Pozza's comments on what he described as an "escalting situation" in the video linked to this story.

The curfew area under consideration is between Oakwood Avenue and Broad Boulevard, along the Riverfront Mall and boardwalk. Police recommend the restrictions for unsupervised children take place between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., within the curfew area.

Parents or guardians of juveniles cited for violating the curfew could face a fine of $50. If parents or guardians do not retrieve the youths at the police station within three hours, offenders could be placed in juvenile detention facilities.

Matt Butcher April 05, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Nice to see the video rant of our fine Mayor who doesn't like the Gothic kids with piercings.
Robin Anderson April 05, 2011 at 10:37 AM
“The idea wasn’t to necessarily ban people under 18 from coming down to the area, but rather have them come down with family members, with a parent, with an adult responsible for them,” said Police Capt. Jack Davis. “We really feel that by doing that it will increase the safety for all our visitors down there, especially the younger ones.” Um...how's about bringing the City's police force up to "authorized" strength so that the City, the creator of this "attractive nuisance", could provide a few additional police patrols in the area, eh? Then the city wouldn't have to trample on the rights of either the "good kids" or the parents of same. You know, the good folk who also go to work so's they can pay the taxes that support this shin-dig? Or maybe big brother could just provide a few more security cameras in the area to help ensure law & order.
Robin Anderson April 05, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Just an fyi...http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/reform/ch2_c.html
Darryl April 05, 2011 at 02:13 PM
if they really are concerned about having a safe "family oriented" event, why not take the alchohol out of the equation, instead of the kids? if they didn't have to pay so much attention to drunken adults, they would surely be able to police a few teenagers.
Juliet Shreve April 05, 2011 at 06:11 PM
I as a adult person did not never like the Goth-spike -look that never went with the dress code in school and it not just the kids from inner city stop that one it the same kisd that live in the area mostly and they do a good job walking and hanging outside of the libarary -get it straight and do not start this inner -city mess that is stero-typing kids -say it sraight the Goth-spake-black make-up kids.
Brenda Hogan April 06, 2011 at 12:01 AM
I agree so with Darryl I am from the Falls,and there are quite a few "Goth" kids there. And the clothing?? Omg,we would have been sent home from school. It's quite clear the mayor doesn't like "those" kids.So not fair. More patrol is needed and training and a curfew. I quit going years ago because of drunk adults,I wore enough beer.
John Tussey April 06, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Maybe it is just time for parents to become parents, again!! Too many parents bring their kids to Rockin' and let them run loose. Mind you I was a kid at one time as well, and kids love to have fun. The fact is that kids don't all have the same innocent intentions as some do, and there are kids that come down to merely cause problems. I am all for removing the problem. Some parents only seem to have problems with this as it may infringe on their kid having fun..........well if your kid is hanging with some of the kids that hang out where they are talking about, then you have bigger problems than you think!! While I am not for curfews per say, I do believe that too many parents have no clue as to how to be a parent, but are instead their kids best friend or enabler. So from a parents point of view, are you a parent or an enabler? You better make up your mind for your kid's sake!!
Vic April 06, 2011 at 06:11 PM
I agree with John. Parents need to start being parents again. We have a generation of kids that don't know the definition of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Last year at "Rockin On The River" I didn't enjoy walking in the area where the "kids" congregate and be expected to walk around them and onto the street because they made it perfectly clear they weren't moving. And I don't mean they were just standing there they were walking on the same sidewalk as me and my fanily and our family had to allow them to walk the sidewalk while we moved onto the street and then of course back onto the sidewalk. I didn't have this problem walking around on the upper street where the adults were drinking(& I'm not a drinker) so the alcohol is not the issue and there are more than just a "few teenagers" as mentioned previously. Obviously this doesn't apply to all kids because we know they're not all bad. But the truth is the bad ones spoil it for the good ones and for the safety of everyone involved if a curfew is needed then a curfew is needed. If the parents can't get their kids under control then our city is doing the right thing by picking up the slack. These kids need to know this type of behavior will not be allowed to continue. From a tax paying citizen of Cuyahoga Falls!
Beverly K.Bertka April 06, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Very important observation and comment - hope others see it and agree. Neither alcohol or kids gangs make for good "family oriented" entertainment.
Mitch Marshall April 07, 2011 at 03:02 PM
This city is focusing on getting our residents to enjoy the riverfront and its entertainment, yet, the hoodlums go unchecked. The amount of vandalism to the area, and the cars that get damaged and stuff stolen from is ridiculous. I took notice last year of the increased police presence, many from Silver Lake and Munroe Falls. This is good. Maybe those cops can work with the Cuyahoga Falls ones, and make more arrest of the thugs.
Ed Kent April 07, 2011 at 03:45 PM
My jacket was stolen at the Riverfront in Cuyahoga Falls. I won't be back.
Robin Anderson April 07, 2011 at 06:12 PM
No narrow sidewalks on the upper level; no "street" either for that matter. No societal requirement today that the kids say "yes sir/ma'am". Rude behavior is a far cry from breaking the law but, who'd have thunk it? A visible police presence usually has a dampening effect on both.
Kristina D. April 12, 2011 at 04:18 PM
It's evident the kind of kids that our fine mayor doesn't like...as evidenced by the snippet played on the radio this morning. It makes me feel all warm inside to know that the mayor of the town I live in has a prejudice towards these kids just because of their clothes, hair and piercings. Since when did image portray how you acted? They look weird, so they must be trouble! What a joke of a mayor! The issue lies with the parents, who just drop their kids off at the Riverfront and then drive away. I can't tell you how many times I have been sitting in traffic because parents are just stopping there on the street to drop their kids off. Parents know there is alcohol involved, there should be supervision. A curfew is needed...but not on the basis that it is ONE specific group of kids who are ruining it for everyone else. Now they have become scapegoats for all of the problems at the Riverfront and will be targeted by police just because of the way that they look.
Glenn April 14, 2011 at 11:29 PM
For the police and the mayor to disagree as to who is the problem. I question both, is the problem getting blown out of proportion. Is it the goth kids or the inner-city thugs. They both stand out, it shouldn't be hard to pick them out of the crowd. It can't be a real problem or it would have made the paper or tv . The mother who told the lie in the paper.last year said 5 inner-city thugs attacked her son, he didn't require hospitalization. The thugs who happened to be courteous , then texted him way to hang in there dude. To every parent how many inner-city thugs have your kids numbers to text them.
Robin Anderson April 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Not to worry...the dogs are back it town! If these highly trained members of our police department can be assigned to help out the Akron PD on occasion, why can't they be assigned to help weed-out(no pun intended) the undesirable elements loitering in the Riverfront Center area? Such folk tend to gravitate away from the visible presence of law enforcement. That way, neither the goth kids, the pants-on-the-ground folk, the bikers or the Beave need have their constitutional rights infringed upon.
Katie Dover April 21, 2011 at 03:12 PM
I am a seventeen year old female who has been attending Rockin' on the River every friday night for four consecutive summers. If the mayor of Cuyahoga Falls is really set on the idea that it is these "kids with piercings" who are destroying the enjoyment for others in this area then HE IS BLIND. Of every night I spent there on the boarwalk, in the parking deck, by the fountain and everywhere else, I have never witnessed a problem that wasn't cause or instigated by someone who wasn't inbetween the ages of 18-20. These "gothis teenage menaces" are the least of your worries, Cuyahoga Falls Police Department. So how about instead of setting a curfew and ignorantly profiling conspicuous minors, how about your open your eyes to all of the violent Akron college students? How about you open your eyes to the older inappropriately touchy drunken middle aged men? It'd be GREAT advice for you to take.
Anonymous April 21, 2011 at 07:46 PM
1. Drunk drivers on their way home from ROTR, no drink limits 2. Drunken adults fighting, spilling alcohol on people that are just trying to walk through the crowd (including children) 3.A host who swears on stage in your so-called "Family oriented event". 4. A city leader who stereotypes people for the way they dress. 5. Anyone remember the bands name that 2 years ago was asking women to lift their shirts to show their ####? Riiiiiight, the kids are the problem. I'm sorry that Mr. Robart doesn't understand that self-expression (goth kids) and violence don't go hand in hand. Last time I checked, someone under the influence posses more of a danger than a couple goth kids with spikey hair hanging out on the boardwalk that, to you, are intimidating. He showed his true colors with that stereotypical remark. "what we're trying to rid ourselves of, are the people that are down there in their gothic-garb, with their spiked hair, with their piercings..." His words. Discrimination.
Joe Kleon April 28, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Robert is nothing but a bigot. The real problem is the bikers, who decend by the hundreds, park illegally, get roaring drunk, and drive away. These hell's angels wannbees cause far more problems than goth kids. Robart is a, old, crusty, out of touch, dinosaur. Funny how he complains about gothic appearance, yet he parades around in cheap suits that look like they were found in the trash. Screw Robart and his discrimination. I am embarassed to say I grew up in the dump that Cuyahoga Falls is becoming. Get rid of the bikers and get rid of the alcohol. Oh wait, the city makes money off getting people drunk and allowing them to drive away. Who is more of a danger? Drunk bikers, or a 16 year old guy with piercings? If Rotard made these comments about black people, or women, people would go crazy. Funny how people don't seem to care when the rights of young people are trampled upon. Robart needs to go. The ACLU should be all over this. It is nothing but illegal age discrimination. I will never spend another dime in Cuyahoga Falls. Go to Lock 3. The bands are better anyway. Plus, what kind of sissies are the falls police that they cannot handle a few 90 pound goth kids? I read there were 6 fights, the whole season. ROTR draws 3000-4000 people every week. Wow. There were a few fights. Train your Barney Fife's to handle things. Drunk adults are far more of a problem than kids. I hate Robart. Morons like him make me want to puke.
Concerned citizen May 18, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Mr. Robart, people who look different are not a threat. Get out of your 1950's mentality. It's funny that the "teenagers" whom you are discriminating against are more in tune to co-exist than the Mayor..
Monica Barth May 22, 2011 at 10:41 PM
I have lived in the falls and when ever I went to the Nat or anything like that. There is all underaged kids being dropped off and running around. There are so many thefts from the lockers, it's crazy! I say, good for the Falls. Now, something is being done and now there is a curfew in place to help with it. I think its time to be a parent again and know where your kids are. I have gone to Rockin and encountered these kids standing around. I tell my 23 yr old daughter to stay away from down there. She looks youunger than she is and I know she would be stopped.
Robin Anderson May 23, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Should'a brought a lock with you on your visit to the Nat...could'a had on-foot poliice patrols in the Riverfront area at anytime without a curfew...would'a thought better about big brother infringing on some folks rights if I'd'a known they'd be coming after mine next...
John McMillan May 14, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I know this is off topic, but is this the same Brenda Hogan that used to babysit me and my brothers when we lived on Hudson Drive? Great babysitter!! lol

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