MOULTRIE, Ga. — Section 74.8 of the Moultrie City Code of Ordinances defines disorderly conduct as “with intent to cause physical inconvenience, annoyance or alarm by or to a member or members of the public, or recklessly creating a risk.” Followed by that description are 29 subsections that categorize the offense. Moultrie Police Chief Sean Ladson believes that the ordinance has too many moving parts and wants to fix it.
“Looking at the ordinance myself, in my opinion, it was really broad and generalized. The state's ordinance only has four subsections while ours has 29 subsections that were basically going over the same information over and over again,” said Ladson.“My job as the chief of police is to look over ordinances that come to my attention and see if something needs to be changed, and in my opinion, this needed to change.”
The goal of this new ordinance is to decrease the number of arrests for a petty disorderly conduct charge. Such petty charges could include yelling insults at an officer, which is an arrestable offense under the current ordinance. Ladson wants that part of the ordinance gone along with a few other tweaks.
Moultrie City Council approved first and second readings of the changes at its meeting Tuesday. Councilmen are expected to consider final adoption at the next council meeting on Dec. 18.
Ladson’s proposal also has the backing of his boss, City Manager Pete Dillard.
“We want the guidelines as tight as possible and we want to arrest as few people as possible,” said Dillard. “We need to spend our time on the bigger things and with this being Chief Ladson’s initiative I support him.”