Identification ordinance proposed for Ashland
Ashland might see a new ordinance which would enforce a police officer's request to a citizen for identification when someone is believed to have broken the law.
Police say they would only ask someone for their name and date of birth for reasons like issuing a citation.
Ashland police are working to find a way to better address ticketing to those who are unwilling to give their name or date of birth when asked by an officer.
"If somebody is caught drinking in public, or smoking marijuana in public, or a leash law violation, or littering or something like that, and we go up and we say, 'Hey we want to give you a ticket for this,'" Ashland Police Chief Tighe O'Meara said. "If they just stand there and don't provide any information under the current legal framework, we can't do anything more with it."
Ashland has many places for people to enjoy such as Lithia Park, the plaza, as well as the shops and eateries along Main Street. When some people break laws in these busy areas, police sometimes encounter people who will not identify themselves when asked. O'Meara emphasized that this would only be necessary if someone was suspected of violating a law so a citation could be issued.
Critics of the proposed ordinance worry they will be stopped without cause, but O'Meara says this would not be the case. This ordinance would not be meant to discriminate against or harass people into giving out their personal information.
The first reading of this ordinance passed on Monday.
It will need to pass another hearing on July 16 where it could then go into effect thirty days later.