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.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.