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City to Expel Individuals Engaging in Unlawful Behavior in Parks

May 18, 2010

For more information contact:

Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

New ordinance designed to discourage criminal activity in Renton city parks effective June 1

RENTON, WA—In an effort to maintain public safety in city parks a new city ordinance authorizes Renton police officers, and the Community Services directors or their designee, the ability to expel individuals from all city parks if they engage in unlawful or inappropriate behavior in any city park. Individuals may be expelled for up to one year if they engage in egregious activities. For less serious offences, individuals may be expelled for up to seven days.

The ordinance is designed to discourage criminal activity and unwanted behaviors within city parks, and expulsion from any city park would include all city parks and facilities for the duration of the expulsion. This ordinance is not intended to regulate minor offenses that might occur on park property.

“I am dedicated to improving safety in our parks and will continue to champion efforts to keep individuals involved in illegal and inappropriate activities away from our parks and recreation facilities," said Mayor Denis Law. “Many of these offenders go from one park to another and our police officers often make repeated trips to the parks because of the same offender. This ordinance will keep them away from all the parks and the worst offenders will be expelled for a long time.”

Individuals caught engaging in the following egregious activities on park property may be expelled for up to one year:

• Assault upon another person
• Sale or use of alcohol; sale, use or possession of illegal drugs
• Brandishing or using a firearm
• Committing a sexual act
• Committing a theft that may be punished as a Class A or Class B felony
• Causing damage, including graffiti, to any park property

Individuals may be expelled from city parks for up to seven days if they are cited for engaging in activities that violate park rules or regulations and/or most city and state laws.

Individuals expelled from Renton city parks will be provided a written notice of expulsion that explains their wrongdoing, the duration of their expulsion, information on possible prosecution, and the opportunity to appeal their expulsion. Individuals who return to any city park during the duration of their expulsion will be guilty of a misdemeanor and could face a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 90 days, or both.

To report suspicious behavior, call 9-1-1. For more information, please visit rentonwa.gov.