Ferriday approves fines for sagging pants violations

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 15, 2014

FERRIDAY — Ferriday residents could soon be paying up to $236 if they violate an ordinance passed Tuesday prohibiting sagging pants.

The Ferriday Board of Aldermen approved at its monthly meeting an ordinance that prohibits “a person in public view from wearing pants, shorts or skirts below the waistline that exposes undergarments or skin on certain public property.”

Alderwoman Gloria Lloyd introduced the ordinance at the board’s December meeting, and an opportunity for the public to comment on the ordinance was given Tuesday.

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“If we don’t set a standard for Ferriday, Ferriday is going to be done like its always been done,” Lloyd said. “If we don’t stand for something, we’re going to fall for anything.”

Mayor Gene Allen said he supported the amendment’s passing.

“I think it’s indecent exposure,” Allen said. “No one wants to see anyone running down the road with their pants down.”

Alderman Johnnie Brown also voiced his support for the amendment, but said he wanted to ensure the town’s attorney, Myesha Davis, reviewed the amendment.

“I brought this matter before the board six months ago and was told it was unconstitutional,” Brown said. “This board needs to be protected when you start implementing polices and procedures like that.”

Davis said Tuesday was the first time she was able to review the ordinance and suggested the board table the matter until next month.

Lloyd made a motion to approve the ordinance, but there was a 2-2 tie in voting.

Allen broke the tie by voting in favor of approving the ordinance.

The ordinance must be advertised in the local journal before being adopted.

Police Chief Richard Madison said he supported the ordinance, but was concerned those who violate the law might not have the money to pay the fine.

The ordinance states the penalty for violation is $236, and the court can also order a subject to participate in up to 40 hours of court-approved community service activities.

“I don’t have a problem enforcing it, and I’ve already been giving people warnings and telling them this ordinance is coming,” Madison said. “We need it. Every community needs it.”