Ordinance Changes Requested

Meridian, Miss. In an effort to curb crime, one city councilman in Meridian is calling for several ordinances to be updated.

Randy Hammon represents Meridian's Ward 5 He says many city ordinances were written 20 or 30 years ago. Calling them, 'outdated,' he says it's time for a change.

"We need to make the needed changes as soon as possible," he said.

Hammon says the last time that many of the City of Meridian's ordinances were altered was in 1997 when some wording was changed. Because he says many of them were written twenty or thirty years ago, he's calling on council members to update city ordinances that pertain to things such as: animals, abandoned homes, disorderly gatherings and noise.

"I think it's important to look at the day that we live in. We don't live in the 1970s anymore," Hammon said. "We live in the 21st century; a lot of things have changed. They've also said that doing this reduces crime by only 7% in the first 3 years, but by 18% over a number of years. So, what we have to do is update our ordinances to let young people see that certain things are allowed."

Among the ordinance changes that Hammon seeks is one to increase some fines.

"Most cities have fines that are at least $100 to $250, where ours are still in the old days at $25," Hammon said. "Now, that makes you think a little bit more about whether you want to break a law, or break an ordinance than $25."

Hammon is optimistic that the council can take quick action on his requests.

"It's well within our ability to look at the ordinances, to update them, and to vote on them within a month," Hammon said.