Civic Center Loitering Ordinance deferred to clarify wording

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 10:14 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Lake Charles City Council has decided to defer the implementation of an ordinance aimed at curbing loitering at the Lake Charles Civic Center between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

The decision to defer the ordinance was made in response to concerns over the clarity of its wording, with the City Council recognizing the need for precise language in order to avoid unintended consequences.

The proposed ordinance comes as a response to growing concerns about safety at the Civic Center during evening hours, with reports of gatherings sometimes escalating into incidents of violence. The intention behind the ordinance is to grant law enforcement the authority to address loitering and ensure the safety of both visitors and residents.

However, during tonight’s council meeting, council members raised questions about the specific language used in the ordinance.

In light of these concerns, the city council made the decision to defer the ordinance’s implementation until September 6. This delay will allow the council to revisit and refine the wording to ensure that the ordinance effectively addresses the issue of loitering while maintaining clarity, fairness, and respect for civil liberties.