By Devin Blake Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Published Jul 08, 2023 at 5:56 PM

Summer is here, and school is out.

Here are some things to know about keeping your kids safe and engaged.

MPD will be enforcing curfew

Marcey Patterson, community relations and engagement manager for the Milwaukee Police Department, said the MPD will be “heavily promoting curfew.”

Curfew hours

Summer curfew hours are from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. from June 1 to Aug. 31, Patterson said.

What happens if you violate curfew

Violations of curfew can result in citing a child or teen under 18, and their parent could be cited as well, MPD Sgt. Efrain Cornejo said.

A curfew ticket is $94. A parent’s responsibility curfew ticket is $195, said Cornejo. 

Safe & Sound

The Office of Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson is referring families to Safe & Sound, an organization that works year-round to increase public safety for communities throughout Milwaukee.

This summer in particular, Safe & Sound will serve as a broad “community connector,” Melissa Buford, staff assistant to Johnson, said.

“The Mayor’s Office put together a list of close to 100 organizations and agencies that service young people … and Safe & Sound will serve as the connector between the community and those agencies,” Buford said.  

calendar of events can be found on the organization’s website. Many of these events put particular focus on safety education and awareness.

MPD and United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee

MPD, in collaboration with the United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee, or UNCOM, also provides some citywide opportunities for safe and engaging events over the course of the summer.

At any one of the eight UNCOM locations, people can take part in the recently relaunched Police Athletic League, or PAL.

Despite the name, athletics is not necessarily an emphasis of PAL.

“We are doing more of a mentoring component, and so focusing a lot on character development, positive behavior, leadership, self-esteem,” said Patterson. “You can do mentoring through sport. But it’s heavily focused on raising self-awareness in young people and making the right decisions.”

The mentors at PAL are police officers, and the programming will include anything from games to arts and crafts to preparing food.

The young people participating will be the ones who get to decide what their time will include, Patterson added.

MPD also is promoting its calendar that organizes events according to respective police districts.

Outside of PAL, UNCOM offers other “varied and credible programming for the summer,” Renée Logee, executive director of UNCOM, said. 

The specifics of the programming depend on the local center, but each one has different events and often field trips around the city, county and across  southeastern Wisconsin.

Some centers provide agricultural and gardening activities. Some have dancing events. Some have sports programming. Some have regular barbecues for families.

“There is something special about each center,” said Logee.

To get started, people can go to their nearest center or call Logee for assistance at (414) 978-2000, ext. 100.

Milwaukee Recreation

A third citywide resource for the summer is Milwaukee Recreation, a department of Milwaukee Public Schools, providing events and activities for kids, and families, of all ages.

While most of the locations are at an MPS building, you do not need to be a student or have a student at MPS to take part.

In addition to these locations, Milwaukee Recreation will be running its free summer playgrounds program at various sites throughout the city. These are safe, supervised locations, open to children ages 6 to 17 that also include opportunities for water play and field trips. This programming began June 12.

For older kids, ages 10-18, Milwaukee Recreation also runs what it calls Twilight Centers, which are free drop-in centers open during evening hours. These centers also are supervised.

For detailed programming, check out Milwaukee Recreation’s comprehensive summer guide.

Planet Fitness

At various Planet Fitness locations, teens from the ages of 14 to 19 can work out for free this summer, through Aug. 31. Information and registration details are available on its website.

“We need to know where our young people are this summer,” said Patterson.

In case you missed it

For more of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service's summer survival guide series, click here.