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Proposed public urination violation discussed by Thurmont board

Lauren Beward
Frederick News-Post

(7/21) A proposed ordinance code brought before the Thurmont Board of Commissioners could make relieving oneself in public a fineable violation.

The proposal was asked for by the Thurmont Police Department and is modeled on a similar code in Frederick , law enforcement code officer Ken Oland said.

"When (officers) come across someone who is urinating or defecating in public, the only way they can charge them currently is under the state law of indecent exposure," Oland said. "But the law does not allow somebody to indecently expose themselves to a police officer."

If voted in, this code would make a public urination violation punishable by a fine of $50.

"In today's world, we have to worry about biological or biohazards when (someone) urinates or defecates," Oland said.

Commissioner Glenn Muth questioned the wording of the code.

"I agree with the intent, but it seems to me that private property is left out of this wording," he said.

Resident Brian Lynch questioned whether he could be cited for urinating on his own property.

"I think it makes perfect sense as it is," said Commissioner Ron Terpko. "I think if you walk outside your own door and you urinate, you've got bigger problems."

Proposed revisions to the firearms code were also discussed at Monday's meeting.

Thurmont ordinances forbid the discharge of any firearm, including B.B. guns and paintball guns, within city limits. However, the $50 penalty fine can only be issued after a warning citation has been given.

Oland also proposes amending the code to give leeway to firings by law enforcement officers, lawful defense of person or property and relieving injured animals from suffering.

Other amendments include allowing firing for theatrical performances, sporting events and ceremonial salutes.

Commissioners plan to vote on the ordinances, along with many others, at the Aug.17 meeting.

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