by Roland Glembine / email@example.com
Rock Island police are ready to step up patrols against those standing around. Underage loitering is no longer welcome or even legal in the District.
If you are between 17 and 20 years old you better have good reason to be in the district after midnight. "Nothing good happens after midnight for kids that age." said RIBCO Owner Terry Tilka.
He says underage loitering has long been a problem in the District. "There were many a nights they would show up in groups of from anywhere to 20–100 coming from house parties coming from after school events and hanging out between a bunch of night clubs at two in the morning."
Something police now have the power to stop. "You have a concentrated number of taverns that are in that area that do not cater to people who are under 21." explains Rock Island Police Chief Jeff VenHuizen. "And if there's no meaningful purpose for being down there the only thing that can come about is trouble and we are trying to avoid that."
The ordinance which began in January bans those under 21 from being in the District from midnight to 3 a.m. "This is not an attempt to discourage individuals who have a legitimate purpose for being in the District." said VenHuizen. "Officers are going to have to articulate that an individual was in fact loitering."
Tilka hopes the ordinance makes a difference yet he's taking a wait and see approach. "It's like any ordinance just depends if it gets enforced or not. This will be the test because summers coming."
Police say they have already issued a handful of tickets since January, but they expect to see more now that the weather is warming up.