Base changes curfew policy

BOLLING AFB, D.C. -- A new curfew has been implemented here following several recent events that have illuminated security concerns involving teenage dependents, according 11th Wing senior leadership. 

"For the last 60 years, the United States Air Force has fought to provide safety and security for America and her allies. We should be proud of the contributions we have made in that effort," said Col. Brain D. Anderson, 11th Mission Support Group commander. "However, some recent trends raise concerns that we have lost sight of the fact that safety and security begins here at home by being good wingmen for our own Air Force family members." 

The new curfew calls for dependents ages 18 and under to be indoors unless accompanied by an adult from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sundays through Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, young adults age 15 and under need to be indoors from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.; and those age 16-18 must be indoors from midnight through 6 a.m. The previous curfew policy, listed in Bolling AFB Instruction 32-4, Family Housing Management, called for children 16 and under to be indoors from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and from midnight to 8 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 

"We're hoping these changes to the base curfew policy, along with a heightened sense of awareness on the part of all Bolling residents, will lessen the opportunity for future problems," Colonel Anderson said. 

Recently, a young teenage female was walking home on Bolling in the early evening when she noticed that she was being followed by a group of older teenage boys. She contacted the 11th Security Forces Squadron.  All of the individuals were located and escorted home without further incident. It was later discovered that the young female and the older juveniles had had a verbal confrontation earlier in the evening at the youth center. This particular incident came amidst a recent rash of crime and vandalism; particularly in playgrounds, parking lots, abandoned housing, park facilities and the youth center. 

Additionally, seven Bolling teenagers, ranging in age from 14 to 16 and operating in two separate groups, were apprehended in January after being linked to a base crime wave consisting of stolen property, vandalism and unlawful entries dating back to summer 2007. 

"As the parent of a teenager, I am particularly alarmed," Colonel Anderson said. "We can all agree that our home here on Bolling should be a place where everyone feels safe and secure, no matter what the hour. 

"All of us bear responsibility in supporting one another on Bolling," emphasized Colonel Anderson. "I ask that all parents continue to actively engage their children to ensure dependents are adhering to the curfew and not participating in mischievous or criminal behavior." 

In addition to the new curfew, the 11th Security Forces Squadron is becoming more involved with the local teenage community. The unit has implemented a ride-along program for teens. The program allows dependent teenagers to spend time with a security forces patrol and see what the base police do during the day. 

"It's a way to personalize the folks in police uniform and bridge the gap that sometimes occurs between the base population and those who protect them," said Maj. Denny Towns, 11th SFS commander. "We're all part of the same community here at Bolling, and we should all work together when it comes to our safety and security." Individuals interested in participating in the ride-along program can call the 11th SFS Crime Prevention office at (202) 767-5587. 

Colonel Anderson said the youth center staff is currently in the process of planning future events, such as a Cops vs. Teens basketball game, a youth lock-in--which is a form of sleepover a the youth center--and youth town hall meetings. 

"The 11th Wing looks forward to making sure Bolling is a safe and secure place for all in 2008," Colonel Anderson said. "With everyone's help we will be successful in our endeavor to increase our dependents' opportunities to participate in constructive events here."