'Archaic' city ordinances targeted for repeal

May 17, 2017 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The Riverton City Council has agreed to repeal several "archaic" city ordinances on first reading.

Two additional readings are required.

Interim Riverton Police Department chief Eric Murphy presented the list of ordinances during a recent council meeting.

He said he is reviewing several of the current city rules and pinpointing those that are no longer used.


Repealed on first reading were: an ordinance for harassing or interfering with any dog used by the police department; secret stalls that are prohibited in certain establishments; and solicitation or fornication-- adultery or illicit intercourse.

Murphy explained that, 99 percent of the time, the RPD uses state statutes to deal with such violations and apply charges.

"I'm making sure that we do have a state statute to fall back on," Murphy told the council.

Three other ordinance sections regarding the unlawful act of assembling or collecting in crowds for an unlawful purpose were combined into one section.

Police dog

Council member Tim Hancock wanted to clarification for the police dog ordinance in particular.

"We don't want people to get the wrong idea that the council doesn't care about police dogs," he said, pointing out that there's already a state statute that covers the violation. "(The statutes) makes it either a high misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity."

Riverton's ordinance currently states that it is unlawful for any person to "willfully, wantonly, maliciously or mischievously harass, torment, tease or frighten any dog used by the police department in the performance of the functions or duties of such department, or to interfere with, meddle with or hinder in any manner such dog used by the department in performance of the functions or duties of the department."

The crime could be punishable by a $750 fine at most for a person.

Although the RPD currently isn't using a police dog, Hancock noted that if the agency used one in the future it would be more appropriate to handle that issue with a state statute violation.

Hancock also suggested the council consider repealing an ordinance regarding railroad crossings and the unlawful act of leaving a vehicle in the way of traffic on the railroad crossings.

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