EAST COUNTY–About 15 detectives from the Sheriff’s department took part in operation Holiday Watch, a curfew sweep that took place in Rancho San Diego, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and unincorporated areas of La Mesa and El Cajon.
The sweep was conducted on November 25 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. the next day. Curfew in the City of Lemon Grove begins at 11 p.m., and curfew for unincorporated areas of the county begins at 10 p.m. Curfews last through 6 a.m., and during those hours, minors can’t be out in public unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, working or taking part in a school or religious activity.
Deputies made 65 contacts during the sweep. Minors found in violation of curfew laws were taken in the back of patrol cars to the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station where their parents picked them up.
Before the minors were released to their parents, they met with a juvenile detective to discuss the dangers of violating curfew laws. The parent and child also signed a contract with San Diego Youth Services requiring the minor to complete a diversion program. A minor in the program must attend a one-time class about the law, write a 600-word essay about the arrest and complete ten hours of community service.
If the program is completed within three months, the case will be dismissed. If a minor fails to complete the requirements, the case will be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review. Only seven of the nine minors arrested qualified to participate in the diversion program because they are first-time offenders.