Local News in Brief : L.A. Police Panel OKs Use of Student ID Card for Teen Club
The Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday approved the use of high school identity cards to prove the age of teen-agers who want to enter Phases, a Canoga Park teen dance club.
The commission also granted a second, 60-day operating permit to the controversial club. But the commission has not yet set a date for a hearing on the club’s request for a permanent permit.
Phases, at 7230 Topanga Canyon Blvd., has been the target of West Valley Councilwoman Joy Picus and nearby residents, who charge that many teen-age patrons are rowdy, use drugs and commit vandalism.
Picus proposed citywide restrictions on teen-age dance halls in April, including requiring the clubs to close at 10 p.m. before school days and at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Phases now can remain open until 2 a.m.
Picus’ proposal is to be considered today by the City Council’s Police, Fire and Public Safety Committee.
Proof of age also has become an issue because no one under 16 can enter the club without a parent or guardian.
Kevin Parr, the manager of Phases, said he asked to be allowed to accept school identity cards as identification because many 16- and 17-year-olds do not yet have a driver’s license or state identification card, the two types of identification required under the previous temporary operating permit.
“It was a major problem,” Parr said. “We were turning away hundreds of kids.”
He said that, although identity cards issued by Los Angeles City schools do not list a birth date, all cards list the youth’s grade level.
Parr said the grade level is an accurate indicator of age because most 11th- and 12th-graders are at least 16 years old. He said the club will admit students in those grades without requiring that they be accompanied by parents.