The implementation of a permanent curfew in Kaplan has sparked a range of opinions among residents, as the new regulation aimed at curbing nighttime bicycle and pedestrian traffic took effect this weekend (Jul. 1).

While some express concerns over potential government overreach, others see it as a necessary step to address drug activity in the area.

"There's a little bit of a misconception too. People think it's a curfew from 11 PM until 4 in the morning that only applies to walkers and bicycle traffic," said Kaplan Mayor, Mike Kloesel.

The decision to impose the curfew came in response to an observed increase in nighttime bicycle traffic, prompting concerns about potential issues and disturbances. In a report from KLFY News 10, Police Chief Joshua Hardy explained that citizens had expressed worries about people walking and cycling late at night. Issues with motorized bicycles, which often produced excessive noise due to modified exhaust systems, were also highlighted.

With these concerns in mind, the police chief approached the city council to institute the curfew, which was subsequently approved.

The news of the curfew has generated a variety of reactions from the community, with individuals taking to social media to voice their opinions. While some residents expressed concerns over potential government overreach and perceived infringement on their rights, others welcomed the curfew as a means to address the drug problem plaguing Kaplan.

"Why? That sounds a lot like government overreach to me. The people that passed this should check out that paper called the constitution," one resident commented.

"Next up they plan to ban music and dancing…" another resident added, expressing skepticism about the expanding regulations.

However, supporters of the curfew pointed to the potential benefits it could bring. "Good, hopefully, it will stop the drug activity," one resident remarked, emphasizing the importance of addressing the issue.

KLFY News 10, Facebook
KLFY News 10, Facebook
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Critics of the curfew voiced their concerns about the selective enforcement of the ordinance, particularly its potential impact on marginalized communities. Some residents raised doubts about the curfew's effectiveness in curbing criminal activity, suggesting that law-abiding citizens were being disproportionately affected.

"This seems like an ordinance that will allow Kaplan police to legally profile and harass black people," a resident commented, highlighting concerns over potential discriminatory practices.

Others echoed these sentiments, cautioning against granting authorities the power to pick and choose when and whom to enforce the curfew on. They emphasized the need to strike a balance between maintaining safety and avoiding the potential for discriminatory practices.

Despite the mixed reactions, proponents of the curfew argued that it was necessary to combat the drug-related issues affecting the community. They shared personal anecdotes about drug-related incidents and expressed hope that the curfew would help deter criminal activity.

While the curfew remains a subject of debate, Mayor Kloesel emphasized the city's commitment to working with the police department to create a safer community. Concerned residents were encouraged to reach out to Kaplan City Hall or the Kaplan Police Department for any questions or concerns.

As the permanent curfew settles into Kaplan, the community remains divided over its implications, with discussions revolving around striking a balance between safety, individual rights, and potential discrimination. The long-term impact of the curfew remains to be seen as Kaplan seeks to address the ongoing drug-related issues while respecting the concerns and freedoms of its residents.

Keagan Henman, Unsplash
Keagan Henman, Unsplash
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Learn more about the curfew in Kaplan in this full report from KLFY News 10.

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