Taking a strong stance against illegal drug activity in parks, the City Council Tuesday gave tentative approval to an ordinance that would bar convicted drug offenders from city parks.
Councilmen and residents hailed the proposed ordinance, which was introduced at the council meeting Tuesday, as a way to rid parks of drug users and dealers and make them safe for others.
A final vote on the ordinance, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, is expected next week.
Under the proposed law, convicted drug offenders would be prohibited from entering any of the city’s 40 parks for up to three years after their convictions or release from custody. It would apply to anyone convicted of selling drugs, possessing drugs for sale or, if the offense occurred in the park, possessing drugs.
If formally approved, the ordinance would become effective in 30 days and signs would be posted at each park warning drug offenders that they are prohibited from being there.
Violation of the ordinance would be a misdemeanor, and offenders could face a maximum six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.