CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Mayor and City Council on Tuesday passed three police-related ordinances presented by Chief Charles Hinnant.

The first ordinance regards a repealing of certain sections of City Code related to stationary impoundment and towing of vehicles and associated matters and setting forth amended rules and penalties for the impoundment, towing and booting of vehicles.

Hinnant said more than 10,000 warnings are issued each year regarding parking violations and approximately 2,000 citations and tickets are issued each year.

The ordinance allows parking and law enforcement personnel to impound vehicles after three unpaid parking citations and the booting, towing or impoundment of a vehicle until citations are paid. A boot is a large clamp-like device that is placed over a vehicle’s tire to immobilize it.

The second ordinance regards the regulation of drinking, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on public property.

Hinnant said officers are having an ongoing problem with intoxicated people who have passed out on public property. He said they are generally not causing harm to anyone, except perhaps themselves, and law enforcement cannot do anything unless there is a disturbance, endangerment of another person or property, or consumption of the alcoholic beverage in front of officers.

The ordinance will help officers take a proactive and preventive approach before intoxicated individuals can become a danger to themselves and/or others.

The third ordinance went along with the second and regards public urination and defecation. The need for the ordinance was validated by a Greene Street business owner who complained of the problem at last month’s council meeting.

Also approved at the meeting was an order authorizing Hinnant to accept a U.S. Department of Justice Anti-Gang Activity Strategy Grant for the period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2010. The $67,500 grant will help cover police overtime, equipment, training and education.

Contact Tess Hill at thill@times-news.com.

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