At last weeks city council meeting, Ordinance 824: Interference with a Peace Officer passed the council and was signed by Mayor John Morrison. There has been some confusion leading up to and since the vote that we took some time to clear up.

The ordinance that will take effect as soon as it is published reads as follows:

No person shall commit any act, be it physical or verbal that interferes, prohibits, or hinders a peace officer from performing their lawful duties if reasonable articulable suspicion is present that a crime has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur.

The primary way the ordinance can be utilized is by requiring each person that may have information about a crime that has, is, or will occur identify them self. State statute and existing city ordinance only allowed officers to identify people when probable cause existed.

This should speed the rate at which crimes can be solved according to Kimball Police Chief Jose Ruiz. He explains that people who refuse to identify themselves and then leave the scene of a potential crime can run or hide without any recourse. Now, with their identities being provided to police, they can be contacted later if need be. If there was no crime, or the subject was not involved then they will not be contacted.

This should be a valuable tool in a growing city where many of the crimes are committed by non-residents. This way law enforcement can keep track of people who are a part of suspicious activity that may not be familiar in the community.