MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The UNTCC–Uniform Non-Traffic Citation and Complaint ordinance will allow officers to write citations for certain non-violent offenses rather than making a formal arrest. That way, officers would spend less time transporting people to jail for minor, non-violent crimes that usually result in no jail time. One of the offenses included in the original ordinance, though, caused controversy.
“When it first came out, there was the inclusion of I think marijuana possession, misdemeanor personal use. But that’s actually prohibited by law. There was also some alcohol-related offenses and so that’s why you saw us pull that UNTCC ordinance off last time so we could vet that through the state, through the district attorney’s office and the attorney general,” says Public Safety Director James Barber.
Its first reading was Tuesday and will be voted on by the city council next week. Reggie Hill got up to commend the administration for the UNTCC ordinance.
“We see too often where people are chastised for acts that are not necessarily violent or to where they would actually be a hindrance to the community. And so any time that we can find ways to dilute the penal system, I think that’s an advantage for our city,” says Hill.
Hill is the founder of a non-profit called “Success 4 The Future” that helps at-risk youth that deals with behavior intervention and character development. He sees this ordinance as a big help.
“We want to ensure that they steer clear of pathways that lead to delinquency, social dependency and incarceration. The council has been extremely bold, and so this is an opportunity to show how bold the council is and I think that they and administration will work together to help this pass,” says Hill.
Director Barber also says they cannot include any alcohol-related offenses in the UNTCC.