City of Columbia to enforce "no profanity" ordinance in parks

Published: Dec. 16, 2011 at 11:53 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2011 at 5:27 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Blue signs with the words "No Profanity" written on them could be coming to a park near you if you live in the city of Columbia.

"Chief Randy and some other members of the police department attended a community meeting at Sims Park recently where this topic came up," said Columbia Police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons.

Residents like Shelia Roy who live near the park say they were fed up with hearing foul language on the basketball courts

"I have three young children at home," said Roy. "We don't want to come outside everyday and hear profanity at the park. We just, you know, not only for my kids but for the other families also."

Police took the matter seriously and decided it was time to enforce a city code that outlaws obscene language within city limits

"This is more of a renewed effort," said Timmons. "Certainly we don't want to hear people using vulgar language in a public place. We expect them to conduct themselves appropriately, especially children. We don't children to be under the influence of some bad language."

Police also say the ordinance does not violate your first amendment rights

"We do respect people's first amendment rights," said Timmons. "If they want to curse, do it in their own home. Why do you have to do it in park where they are other children, other people who will. This, it's just quite frankly, pretty rude."

Roy says she's been instructed to call police if someone is violating the ordinance.

So if you'd to see the signs posted at a city park, Columbia Police urge you to give the them a call.

"If they have a concern about profanity in and around their area, call the Columbia Police Department at 545-3500 and we are happy to put some 'No Profanity' signs up in your area," said Timmons.

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