MARC extends hours to help keep young people safe

<p class="p1">The Calcasieu Parish Multi-Agency Resource Center is extending its hours in an effort to help local law enforcement deal with youths who are out past curfew, local officials said Wednesday.</p><p class="p1">Starting next week, the center will be open 1-11 p.m. Sunday; 8 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday and Tuesday; and 8 a.m.-4 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The center, open since June of 2011, provides assistance to at-risk children and their families.</p><p class="p1">Bill Sommers, Calcasieu Juvenile Justice Services director, said law enforcement can send youths who are out past curfew to the MARC instead of the Juvenile Detention Center “because it’s not a high-risk” situation.</p><p class="p1">Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon said the main focus with extending the MARC’s hours is keeping young people safe.</p><p class="p1">“Nothing good happens after midnight to a juvenile out on the streets, bottom line,” he said.</p><p class="p1">Dixon said officers in the past would bring a juvenile who was out after curfew to the police station.</p><p class="p1">“That officer may have to baby-sit (the juvenile) for three, four (or) five hours because we can’t find a responsible adult,” he said. “It was very frustrating for our officers.”</p><p class="p1">Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said the center provides families with a service “to move them in the right direction.”</p><p class="p1">“In the past, we really had no avenue to do anything with these at-risk kids,” he said.</p><p class="p1">Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier said the MARC has helped drop recidivism rates among young people.</p><p class="p1">“That shows what you’re doing is working,” he said. “And when we all work together to make that happen, we can get ahead of the problem.” </p><p class="p1">Roughly 10,000 children have gone to the MARC since it opened, Sommers said. </p><p class="p1">The MARC is located at 3581 E. Prien Lake Road. </p><hr /><p class="p2"><strong>Online:</strong></p>

<p class="p1"><strong>‘Nothing good happens after midnight to a juvenile out on the streets, bottom line.’</strong>

<p class="p2"><strong>Don Dixon</strong>

<p class="p4">Lake Charles police chief

””<p><span>Local officials announced on Wednesday that the Calcasieu Parish</span><span> Multi-Agency Resource Center will extend its hours to help law enforcement deal with youths who are out after curfew. New hours start Aug. 12.</span></p>John GuidrozCalcasieu Parish Government and Cameron Parish Reporter
””<p><span>Multi-Agency Resource Center in Lake Charles</span></p>