August 19, 2021–8:20 p.m.
The majority of Thursday’s Rome Public Safety Committee meeting was spent discussing the fights that occurred downtown Saturday and what can be done to stop it from happening again.
Police got a call around 10:20 p.m. regarding multiple fights involving juveniles in the area of Broad Street and 4th Avenue.
It is estimated there was a crowd of over 100 people and officers had to break through the crowd to break up the fights.
During the meeting, police showed body cam footage which showed children as young as eight in the crowd.
Police Chief Denise Downer-McKinney said she would like to see the curfew for minors go from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“I’ve heard some people in the community say they would like for it to be 9 o’clock,” she said. “I don’t know. I’m all for 10 o’clock. I think there was some concern expressed in the past that we want to criminalize the youth. This is not the criminalization of the youth. This is about the kids being out and misbehaving, and they need to be at home.”
Unfortunately, Saturday’s incident was not the first involving juveniles downtown.
The committee discussed possible solutions including ways to recruit more police officers, holding parents accountable, and giving kids more positive things to do.
City Manager Sammy Rich said lights have been ordered for the Town Green and a request for proposals could go out next week for new security cameras.
Some of the hi-tech cameras have the ability to send out alerts should large crowds begin to gather, providing a more proactive approach to preventing fights from breaking out.