City of Osceola to seek overnight curfew

No vote taken during Wednesday’s special meeting, Mayor says

City of Osceola to seek overnight curfew
The mayor of Osceola has called a special meeting of the city council to discuss implementing a curfew. (Source: Shelby Smithson)

OSCEOLA, Ark. (KAIT) - Osceola council members did not vote on a proposed curfew plan that was introduced at a special council meeting Wednesday.

Osceola Mayor Sally Wilson called for a special meeting of the city council Wednesday to discuss implementing a curfew.

The mayor posted Wednesday on Facebook, the city would seek a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Public address, April 15th, Proposed Travel restrictions due to COVID-19

Good morning residents of Osceola. This is Wednesday, April 15th, I am here at City Hall. I have asked Osceola Police Chief Ollie Collins to join me. I thank you for tuning in to hear about a proposed temporary travel restriction for cars driving around Osceola during the nighttime, specifically 10 pm to 5 am. This rule, if passed by the City Council, will apply to cars on public streets, and pedestrians on public sidewalks and property with the following exceptions that I am about to share with you. I ask that you take note of these exclusions because this rule it is NOT intended to restrict you from taking care of your family's needs or going to or from work or the gas station. Specifically, you would still be allowed to travel at night going to or from work, or to or from any business, or to and from any government agency, such as the police station. You could also continue to drive at night to any location to receive medical care, or to obtain any food, any goods or any services. You could also travel at night in response to any emergency or family need. You can still walk your pet down the sidewalk at night. And you may continue to exercise outside, such as walking or jogging as long as you maintain social distancing of at least six feet. So why are we considering this now? It is the intent to help our Osceola Police Department to enforce Governor's Hutchinson's instructions about containing the spread of COVID-19 by limiting and controlling gatherings of people and/or caravans of cars during the night. Tonight at 5:00, I am presenting this information to the Osceola City Council for their discussion about this new ordinance. I encourage you to reach out to your council member today with your feelings. This information is posted on the city's website , http://www.osceolaarkansas.com under the media relations tab. The draft of this proposed travel restriction is also posted this facebook page. At the advisement of the Arkansas Municipal League, this special meeting will be held remotely on April 15th, 2020 at 5:00 pm utilizing the ZOOM video conferencing technology. For more information or to set-up an account, please visit, Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Webinars, Screen Sharing. If adopted by the council, the emergency curfew ordinance would take effect immediately. As you may be aware, other towns around us have implemented travel restrictions, such as West Memphis and Jonesboro. This document was drafted for us and other towns and cities in Arkansas by the attorneys from the Arkansas Municipal League with input from the legal staff at Governor Hutchinson's office. I encourage you to reach out to your city council members and share your feelings about this proposed, temporary, nighttime travel and pedestrian restriction of unnecessary travel in the city. I will post a report on the outcomes of the council's decision tonight.

Posted by City of Osceola on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Mayor Sally Wilson called the special meeting to discuss an emergency ordinance concerning the COVID-19 public health crisis.

“If adopted by the council, the emergency ordinance would establish a temporary, city-wide curfew,” according to the city website.

In the Facebook Live, Mayor Wilson said the curfew is being sought to help Osceola police fight COVID-19 and enforce any social distancing issues.

The curfew would be temporary.

Wilson said Wednesday evening that there was no immediate plan to reintroduce it.

She said she felt that some of the council members wanted to hear opinions from their constituents on both points of view on the issue.

Jonesboro and West Memphis have implemented similar curfews in the past week.

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