The city of Arlington, Wash. is looking at a smoking ban in city parks, but while most proposals such as these are said to be for improving public health, cleaning up parks or similar benefits, this one is being presented with a unique benefit. The city’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission and police department believe it will give them another tool to apprehend criminal suspects.
The Arlington Times reports that during an August 5 city council meeting, public safety director Bruce Stedman said that such a law would allow police to detain those whom they suspected of crimes.
City staff presented the proposed ban to the council at its August 11 meeting, which includes a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes, as well as a ban on smoking and vaping along city trails. Fines for violators range from $25 to $250, and have been equated to those of a parking ticket. A first offense wouldn’t go into a person’s criminal record, but a second offense would be considered a misdemeanor, according to city attorney Steve Peiffle, who noted he didn’t expect it to be a revenue source for the city.
The Arlington City Council next meets on Monday, August 18, and the proposed ban is on the agenda. The text of the proposal can be found here.
Arlington is located in northern Snohomish County, approximately 50 miles north of Seattle. It is home to approximately 18,000 residents.