Police Calls Prompt Tougher Ordinance - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

"THERE'S A LOT OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY GOING ON".

Police Calls Prompt Tougher Ordinance

The calls to the police department from businesses that fall under the new regulated use ordinance include everything from disturbancing the peace to a suspicious person. Police say they get more calls from certain kinds of businesses.  Chief Bruce Dunagan says, "Sex oriented businesses generated a lot more calls for service. There's a lot more criminal activity going on in those businesses and this is going to help regulate those particular type of businesses."

 The new ordinance makes the owner or operators directly responsible for what happens in or around the business. "They can't have subjects hangin' around outside where we get the calls for service for disorderly conduct, like urination in public and so forth," says Dunagan.

There are a certain number of points for specific violations but racking up the points doesn't automatically mean a business's license is suspended or revoked. The business owner is entitled to a hearing. Dunagan says someone can appeal.

Pawn shop owner Jesse Eaves says the only problem he has with the ordinance is it lumps pawn shops with adult entertainment. "I mean ya know when I can sell a 12-year old kid a bicycle...how's that, I don't understand how they try to include us in adult entertainment when we're far from adult entertainment," says Eaves.

 The mayor says since the state already regulates pawn shops, they could have been left out of the new ordinance,  but since they weren't, they'll have to follow the stricter law too.

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