Shippensburg Police Department


Fred A. Scott, Chief of Police


60 West Burd Street ~ Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 17257 ~ Department: 717.532.7361 Fax: 717.532.2313

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By ROB LUFF Staff writer Chambersburg Public Opinion

SHIPPENSBURG -- After tonight, 16- and 17-year-olds may not be allowed to walk or drive through the borough of Shippensburg weeknights after 10:30 p.m. if a proposed ordinance is passed.

Shippensburg Borough Council is expected to vote on Police Chief Fred Scott's request to extend the curfew to include everyone younger than 18. The current ordinance only applies to children 15 and younger, prohibiting them from being out on the streets after hours.

"The old curfew didn't include 16- and 17-year-olds," Scott said. "It became a magnet for the younger people."

The new ordinance aims to stop teens from loitering on public streets and parks unnecessarily between 10:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, they can stay out until 11:30 p.m.

Teens are exempt from the curfew if they are with a parent or legal guardian, or if they have written permission proving they need to come back from a job or a school-sponsored event.

The proposal would apply to young drivers as well, he said. If a 17-year-old is driving through town at 10:35 p.m. on a school night, he or she would have to give proof it is for an approved activity.

Most nearby municipalities have already adopted a similar curfew code, Scott said. Shippensburg is one of the latecomers.

He expects council to vote in favor of the ordinance, because most members seem to have been receptive to his request.

"If it's something our chief feels he needs in order to keep our youth safe, I am for it," said Geno Torri, who represents the West Ward.

Council Vice President Joe Hockersmith was at first apprehensive of the proposal, saying that 17-year-olds can serve in themilitary but not walk through town at night.

"If someone's walking down the street and in a military uniform, we're not going to give them a big hassle," Scott said. Military service may count as one of the exceptions to the curfew.

Rob Luff can be reached at 262-4754 or


Shippensburg police chief argues for curfew

By Dale Heberlig, Sentinel Reporter, March 19, 2009

Shippensburg police Chief Fred Scott still insists there is no reason for minors to be roaming the streets between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and he’s brought his argument back to Borough Council.

In 2007, council rejected Scott’s plea for an amendment to the borough’s curfew ordinance without bringing the issue to a vote.

The chief was back Tuesday night, reiterating his argument to bring 16- and 17-year-olds under control of the ordinance.

The current ordinance makes it “unlawful for any child under the age of 16 years to be or remain in or upon any of the public streets, highways, alleys, parks or other public places of the Borough of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.”

Joe Hockersmith led the opposition to Scott’s request the last time. Hockersmith said he was in the military at the age of 17 and would have been offended if he fell victim to the curfew law.

Two weeks later, Hockersmith said the curfew issues “rubs me the wrong way,” saying the request “sounds like an excuse to profile teenagers.”

Hockersmith drew support from Councilwoman Andrea Lage — who is now council president  and Councilman Zan Beattie — who has since resigned.

Council members Kathy Coy and Sandy Mailey have been appointed to council since the last curfew discussion, and Councilman Geno Torri was absent from both 2007 discussions. Councilman Belvin Banks supported the chief’s request.

“I know Mr. Hockersmith’s concern about 17-year-olds who could be in the military,” Scott said this week. “If I weren’t a police officer, I would probably agree with him, but I’m not talking about kids who are in the service, I’m talking about kids whose parents probably wish they’d join the army.”

Scott says “officer discretion” provides his patrolmen the flexibility to exercise curfew enforcement only on individuals where enforcement is justified. Juveniles with legitimate reasons to be out are also exempt, Scott says.

The exemption of 16- and 17-year-olds from the curfew ordinance encourages younger children to be on the streets, the chief contends.

“A 14-year-old can’t drive, but a 16-year-old can, so who do you think the 14-year-old is going to be with?” Scott says. “It makes the 16-year-old look a bit more important to the younger kid. We can send the 14-year-old home, but we can’t touch the 16-year-old.”

Chief fears teens using cough syrup to get high

Parents in Shippensburg are on notice after the discovery of a half dozen empty cough syrup bottles at a popular teen hangout.

Police Chief Fred Scott warns parents to be “more attentive to their children's actions and demeanor” in light of the empty bottles that once contained the drug dextromethorphan - a cough syrup ingredient used by teens and others to achieve a narcotic “high.”

Scott declined to say where the empty bottles were found, but said the location is a “place where juveniles are known to frequent.”

According to the Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency website, dextromethorphan (DMX) is the active ingredient in a number of over-the-counter cough remedies.

Those products are often the targets of shoplifters, Scott says.

The products include the widely-known Robitussin, and Delsym - a product that one pharmacist says has become popular with shoplifters of late.

“What happens is that a particular product gets a ‘buzz' and kids know to steal that,” says an area pharmacist who asked to remain anonymous. “That's what's happened with Delsym, a long-lasting cough medicine.”

DMX products can be displayed on shelves, but many stores stock the products in secure areas, because of the retail theft threat, the pharmacist says.

Scott says the stores contacted by his department in the past week have agreed to move DMX products behind the counter.

According to the DEA, high doses of DMX can produce a narcotic affects including mild stimulation, euphoria and hallucinations, distorted visual perceptions and loss of motor coordination and dissociative sedation - depending of the size of the dose.

The typical prescribed dose is 15 - 30 mg four time daily. Abusers ingest 100 - 1,500 mgs to achieve highs.

The DEA website says street names for dextromethorphan include DMX, CCC, Triple C, Skittles, Robo and Poor man's PCP. Terms for its illegal use include “Robo-tripping” and “skittling” - terms derived from commonly-abused products Robitussin and Coricidin.

DEA studies indicate:

* Use of DMX is on the rise.

* There is ample instruction on the Internet about how to abuse DMX.

* DMX is can be ordered on the Internet - including in powered form that creates an increased risk since the composition and dosage of powder is less certain.

* The use of high doses of DXM in combination with alcohol or other drugs is particularly dangerous and deaths have been reported.

* Approximately 5-10 percent of Caucasians are poor DXM metabolizers, which increases their risk for overdoses and deaths.


Shippensburg Police Department  Phone - 717-532-7361  Fax - 717-532-2313        Last Modified :01/30/12 11:28 PM          Copyright 2008