Official wants fines for swearing at cops

Aug. 13, 2009 at 4:40 PM
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KENOSHA, Wis., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- An official in a Wisconsin city says he is pushing for an ordinance that would impose $118 fines on people who swear at police officers and firefighters.

Kenosha Alderman Patrick Juliana said that while the city already has an ordinance banning profane, vile, filthy or obscene language within the city limits, complaints must be filed by a third party and his proposed new rule would allow police and firefighters to write citations for language directed at them, WITI-TV, Milwaukee, reported Thursday.

However, WITI said some citizens speaking anonymously raised concerns about the proposal, which has the backing of the city's Public Safety and Welfare Committee, on First Amendment grounds. Some said the proposed ordinance seems more like a ploy by officials to get more money for the city than a plot to protect its public servants.

The City Council is to hear the proposal Sept. 7, the Kenosha News reported.

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