Mobile City Council approves ordinance allowing officers to write curfew citations

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — MPD can now write you a ticket if you violate the city’s curfew.

The Mobile City Council on Tuesday approved a new ordinance allowing for the enforcement of the city’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson ordered the curfew last week on the same day that Governor Kay Ivey issued a statewide stay-at-home order.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste told everyone the goal of the citations is to have everyone comply, but if not, he said, “It gives us a mechanism to either provide them with what we call a UNTCC a ‘uniformed non-traffic citation complaint’ or we could still do the custodial arrest.”

The new citations also carry a fine of $100 for the first offense and $200 for a second offense. Chief Battiste said, “The most important thing is this is everybody knows that we need to be able to maintain social distancing. Everybody knows that the only way we get beyond where we need to get with this pandemic is to make sure that people are following the rules.”

But what about people who are not necessarily able to adhere to the curfew? Reginald Lewis asked, “How’s a homeless person going to pay a ticket?”

He said he worries people experiencing homelessness will have unfair consequences. Lewis said, “They’re going to have to deal with the homeless people who don’t have nowhere to go, and the people who live on the streets who live in their vehicles like that. They don’t have an inside place they can go, so they probably have to try to park off the street.”

At the same press conference on Tuesday, April 7, Mayor Stimpson said the City is working on ways to help people experiencing homelessness during the Pandemic. One thing he spoke about is getting hand washing stations and portable bathrooms in town.

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