New Smyrna Beach Enacts "Youth Curfew" For 60 Days


UPDATE 7:15 PM: New Smyrna Beach city commissioners voted to approve a 60-day curfew on Wednesday (March 16) for unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 and groups of 30 or more. 

Teens will not be allowed east of Riverside Drive and large groups are not allowed within the city limits from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Penalties are a warning for the first violation, then $50 to $100, or community service applied at the hourly minimum wage rate for each subsequent violation.

Commissioners called for the special meeting to address public safety concerns related to recent large, disruptive spring break gatherings along Flagler Avenue and other beachside areas. NSB Police Chief Mike Coffin spoke to the commission and said his department prepared for spring break as they knew it. But, they didn’t prepare for spring break across almost all of Central Florida.

“This is the first time they’ve had spring break across Central Florida,” said Coffin. “We did not anticipate what we’ve been experiencing the last couple of nights. We don’t have enough police officers to be on every corner.”

According to the ordinance for the curfew, the whole thing stems from 300-400 students who came to NSB as part of an “invasion style” spring break without any adult supervision. NSB Mayor Russ Owen said one hotel manager called him and said he watched as a parent checked their children into a hotel and left. The manager reportedly called the parent, who said they were going back to Orlando.

“That’s the culture we’re dealing with,” said Owen. “At this point we got to have all hands on deck.”

There will be exceptions to the curfew. As laid out by the city, exceptions apply to: youth who are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or verified supervising adult; married; homeless; traveling with parental consent, while engaged in lawful employment, or to exercise protected First Amendment rights; by exception during special events; responding to an emergency that requires the youth’s immediate attention; or on a swale or sidewalk abutting the place where the youth resides.

You can view the full meeting for yourself by clicking here. Additionally, you can view the ordinance here.

Earlier reporting below.

New Smyrna Beach, FL - The New Smyrna Beach City Commission is holding a special meeting to address residents’ safety concerns about spring break.

Deputy Chief Tammy Malphurs with Volusia County Beach Safety says her agency has been dealing with a large gathering that tends to build near Flagler Avenue. She said there have been some fights and some alcohol-related violations, nothing too out of the ordinary when it comes to spring break on the beach. But, then there’s the problem of the large crowd spilling back into the streets of NSB.

News Daytona Beach reached out to the New Smyrna Beach Police Department to ask about any incidents that have happened or reports filed by residents regarding spring breakers. We have yet to receive a response. Mayor Russ Owens, however, discussed some of the problems the city is encountering in a prepared release about the meeting.

“If families want to visit our town and be guests in our community, we welcome them and hope they have a great time. However, unaccompanied juveniles roaming our streets and neighborhoods causing problems for our residents and businesses will not be tolerated. We are a family friendly destination and will take whatever measures are necessary to remain so,” said Mayor Russ Owen ahead of the meeting. “If you dropped your child off in New Smyrna, it’s time to come get them.”

The city will discuss preventative measures including the implementation of a youth curfew effective immediately. They’ll also discuss increasing police presence in affected areas. The public will have a chance to address the city commission once the meeting is called to order.

The meeting will be held Wednesday night (March 16) at 5 p.m. in the Hames W. Hathaway Chambers on Sam Avenue. If you cannot attend the meeting, you can view it online through the city’s website. You can click the link under the “View Event” column once the meeting is live.


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