Friday, March 21, 2014
Summerville Police Officers will be able to stop and question loiterers on private property soon, pending the adoption of an amendment to the Town’s existing loitering law.
Police Chief Bruce Owens introduced the amendment to the Town Finance Committee on March 10. Council gave the amendment first reading at its meeting last week on Wednesday, March 12.
The Town currently has a loitering law, Section 16-9 of the Code of Laws, but it does not include private property, Chief Owens said.
If adopted, the new amendment will expand the loitering law so police officers have “a legal standing” when questioning loiterers on private property.
The chief said the ordinance has not been amended during his 17 years with the Town and “it might have been fine when they wrote it, but it needs modernization.”
He said the amendment is not intended to single out any one population, but to protect private property holders and police officers alike.
“It’s out of date, that’s the bottom line,” he said.
The council approved first reading of the ordinance unanimously. The ordinance will have to be given three readings before becoming adopted into the Code of Laws.