Public Safety Committee backs updating city code
Language amendment sought for disorderly conduct
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A change in the Rhinelander city code intended to comply with language in state law related to “endangering public peace and good order” is being forwarded to the full City Council by the Public Safety Committee.
Police chief Lloyd Gauthier informed committee members at Tuesday’s meeting the city code had been rewritten a few years ago when Michael Steffes was the police chief with some of the ordinances being changed during that process. However, Gauthier noted the city code for offenses endangering public peace and good order “did not follow what the wording of state law was.”
“So if we had somebody who was urinating in public, it didn’t fall under the adopted state law, because (what) we spelled out in our city ordinance, it didn’t address behavior like that.”
To mirror the state statute in the city ordinance, Gauthier said the word “indecent” is being included for disorderly conduct in the amended language that states, “No person shall, in a public or private place, engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance.”
Under the current language, Gauthier said it would be up to a judge whether to dismiss a city citation if it was determined to not comply with state law.
Gauthier said he and city attorney Carrie Miljevich will be going through the city code to look at other possible ordinance changes.