Miami City Council members are reviewing proposed ordinance changes that could put “teeth” into codes pertaining to loud parties and the discharging of weapons in the city limits.
According to Miami Police Chief Gary Anderson, the council's approval of proposed language of an ordinance regarding loud parties, the council would give police officers the legal authority to disband disruptive parties without the existence of a complaint.
Currently, officers can only legally insert themselves into out-of-control gatherings upon the filing of a formal complaint.
With the approval of proposed new language, Anderson said officers could make a determination if there is a violation of any related ordinances or city codes.
City attorney Erik Johnson has weighted the ordinance with potential violations of littering, consumption of alcohol by minors, consumption of alcohol in a public place and noise control codes.
“I like this ordinance,” Anderson said. “It is simple and straight forward.”
Regarding issues of discharging weapons, Anderson is looking to create an ordinance specifically relating to the discharge of weapons in the city limits.
“Currently, discharging of firearms is only found in the noise control ordinance,” Anderson said. “Noise control is just not the same as the discharge of a firearm.”
Anderson said he also wants to see the new ordinance address the discharging of BB-guns and air rifles.
“They are not really classified as firearms,” Anderson said. “But, we want to see that the discharge of these is included in the ordinance.”
Anderson said that the officers do not want to see use of the BB-guns and air rifles prohibited, but that there needs to be language in the ordinance that allows for citations when the weapons are used in a threatening manner.
Johnson said the issues raised by the police department are the first of many ordinance changes that may be proposed to the council as he continues the process of re-codification of the city ordinances.
Draft forms of the proposed changes to the two ordinances cited by Anderson have been presented to the council for review and will be discussed at the Nov. 19 meeting of the council.