By Ray King

While the curfew remains in effect for Pine Bluff and Jefferson County remains in effect until June 1, restaurants have reopened, and the Saracen Casino Annex is scheduled to reopen on May 18.

The curfew currently is in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., seven days a week and the Casino Annex has announced they will be open until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. Restaurants are also staying open late.

Appearing on the Oldies 101.3 morning show Monday, Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant explained how things are going to work now.

Sergeant went on to say that people who loiter and hang out in city parks or on parking lots after 9 p.m. will still be ticketed. He said that officers were out in force over the Mother’s Day Holiday weekend to ensure that there was no repetition of the activities from the previous weekend that resulted in more than 70 people being issued citations for curfew violations. The department also had help from the Arkansas State Police who sent their helicopter to the city both Saturday and Sunday.

“You are going to continue to see that throughout the summer,” he said.

Sergeant was asked who makes the decisions on how the curfew is to be enforced, him or the Mayor and City Council.

He said that even though Governor Asa Hutchinson had relaxed some of the restrictions that had been put in place in late March and into April, “At the same time, we still feel like we have a responsibility to the community and don’t want to do things too swiftly so we’re still holding on to some of the parameters that we put in place as a city because we don’t want to move too fast and all of a sudden you have an outbreak because of the decisions that we made.”

Sergeant also said that as it stands now, the curfew will expire at the end of the month.