Flag Deputy Police Chief Says He Has “Received Nothing But Positive Comments” On New Party Ordinance
By Elisha Dorfsmith
“We’re showing up to these parties. They’re shutting the door, they don’t want to talk to us, they run away, they know its for real now.” — Flagstaff Deputy Police Chief Walt Miller
During a presentation on Flagstaff’s Student Housing Work Plan last night, Deputy Police Chief Walt Miller told the Flagstaff City Council that he has received nothing but positive comments on Flagstaff’s recently passed party ordinance. This is odd and kind of a slap in the face to all of the concerned residents and students who have been pushing back against this ordinance since well before the final vote to approve it on May 19th.
I guess Miller missed the 500 plus signatures delivered to council calling for them to revisit the ordinance, the online petition opposed to the ordinance with over 3,000 signatures, the three articles in the Arizona Daily Sun and a Daily Sun editorial covering opposition to the ordinance and the two articles in the NAU Lumberjack newspaper criticizing the ordinance. I suppose he also missed the 4/3 vote by council to put the ordinance on a future agenda so some of the problems could be worked out. It is getting harder and harder to trust anything the Flagstaff Police Department is saying these days.
You can see that discussion here:
After Miller’s presentation. Flagstaff Councilmember Celia Barotz said that if those opposed to the party ordinance just got the opportunity to understand it, they would realize that it was put in place to help the very people who are complaining. She was referring to replacing some criminal violations with civil penalties.
What Barotz doesn’t understand is that increasing the number of people that civil penalties apply to, while still keeping criminal penalties in place for many of the crimes, makes the ordinance much much worse than it was before. Now many people are being charged with a crime AND being fined.
The new ordinance also changes the number of people constituting a party from 15 to 5. Moves the probationary period from 90 to 120 days. And allows people to be cited for a first offense simply for being at a location where a disturbance is taking place. I think it is safe to say that people who are opposed to the new ordinance actually do understand why they don’t like it.
You can listen to Barotz discuss this here:
Even Deputy Police Chief Miller admits that contrary to what Councilmember Barotz is saying, criminal citations are still being issued under Flagstaff’s new party ordinance. For Barotz to say that the City did away with the criminal side of the ordinance to help students is misleading.
In Miller’s own words: