Downtown Harrasment Code Changes Enter Second Reading

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak City Council will hold a regular meeting Thursday night, and one of the items on the agenda is the second reading and public hearing of an ordinance that would help the Kodiak Police Department to deal with members of the transient population downtown.

The city has been reworking the code in order to allow the Kodiak Police Department to better respond to complaints of harassment. According to the meeting packet, a number of the homeless and inebriate population downtown loiter and shout obscenities at people walking by and engage in other inappropriate behavior. While the report says the KPD receives complaints daily, First Amendment rights make it difficult for officers to stop those actions.

With the help of the city attorney, city staff has examined the code and pinpointed laws that would enable the KPD to control the population downtown. For instance, the KPD would be able to fine aggressive panhandling and obstruction of pedestrians and vehicles, with an increase in amount for every offense.

If you’d like to share your thoughts on the proposed ordinance, the city council’s regular meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night in the assembly chambers. KMXT will broadcast the meeting live.

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