A vote on a proposed city-wide curfew for Philadelphia has been tabled by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen until the Police Department becomes fully staffed.

Mayor James A. Young said the board would discuss a proposed curfew after two additional officers are hired.

“I think we are one or two short from where we need to be,” he said. “That was one of the aldermen’s issues to have a full staff in order to have the police coverage to do what we have to do. This would be another responsibility and not something we would take lightly if we agree to do it.  It has to be done properly and safely so we can get the maximum benefit from a curfew.”

The proposed curfew was on the agenda for the Nov. 21 Board of Aldermen meeting but was not discussed. It was not on the agenda for last week’s meeting.

Young said the curfew was still being considered, noting that he has fielded several inquiries about a curfew in recent weeks.

“They are all in favor of some form of a curfew,” he said. “From just generally talking, I have had no negative flow back from the public. I have not met anyone who says, leave it alone. I think they realize and we realize there’s got to be another tool we need to keep our streets safe and our community safe.”

Young said some cities have gone to putting up video cameras in high crime areas.

“I don’t think we have gotten to that point yet,” he said, “but we want to use every tool we can to keep our community safe.”

Young said a fully-staffed police force would allow officers to be more visible in the community, which would be necessary if a curfew is approved.

“It’s not over on the curfew,” he said. “It will come back again before the board. Hopefully, we will get these officers in place so we can assault the crime in our community. It’s getting better but there’s a lot more we can do.”

Curfew proponent Charlene Kirksey appeared before the Board of Aldermen three times in recent months to generate support in wake of recent violence in northwestern Philadelphia. She, earlier, presented the board with a copy of the City of Meridian’s curfew ordinance.

She has helped organize community meetings to discuss the rising crime.

Kirksey was at last week’s aldermen meeting but did not address the board.

The proposed curfew would govern children ages 17 and under, making it unlawful for them to travel and walk on public streets, alleys and parks unsupervised during designated hours.  Curfews in the surrounding cities vary in times starting anywhere from 10 p.m. to midnight and ending at 6 a.m. the following morning.

Each curfew ordinance from various cities being studied by aldermen have exceptions, dealing with situations such as a student being employed at night or a student attending a sporting or other event at school, among others.

Mayor Young said parents would be called after a violator is taken to the police station.

He proposed that the parents be fined $50 for the first violation and $100 for the second.

“On the third violation, we call in the Department of Human Services to get involved,” Young said.

Ward 1 Alderman Joe Tullos first raised the issue that a fully-staffed police force would be needed should a curfew be approved.

Police Chief Grant Myers told aldermen at an earlier meeting that, presently, if an officer picks up a juvenile at midnight for some type of offense, it is sometimes 5 o’clock in the morning before a parent can be found.

“One officer has to stay with that person until a parent picks him up and if it is a female, two officers have to stay with her,” he said. “It affects manpower when you have to run a parent down for four to five hours.”

A curfew, parent accountability, jobs for youth and random roadblocks by police were among solutions discussed during a second community meeting in northwest Philadelphia in August following a series of shootings and other recent violence in the area.

In other action last week, aldermen:

• Paid Waggoner Engineering $14,020.24 for services on airport security fencing and lighting project.

• Accepted a 2005 Honda from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and transferred the vehicle to Neshoba County Board of Supervisors for use by the Youth Drug Court system.