In order to create a safer environment within Douglas, the City of Douglas will begin proactive enforcement of state ordinances, city ordinances, and COVID-19 guidelines. A recent surge of illegal activities such as illegal fights, gambling, underage drinking, illegal drug use, and parking/travelling on roadways by illegal motorized vehicles have been reported in various parks and neighborhoods in the city. Citizens should expect to see vehicle safety checks, officer walk-thru’s of businesses, and an increased presence of law enforcement in public parks and other areas of the city.
“Beginning immediately, our law enforcement agencies and code enforcement will begin proactively enforcing state and local ordinances including COVID-19 guidelines,” says City Manager Charlie Davis.
Recent gatherings in the community have violated Georgia’s COVID-19 guidelines, state laws regarding unarmed combat/fights/brawls (Ga Code Sec. 43-4b-219). These gatherings have been direct violations of city’s ordinances in reference to curfew for minors (Sec. 62-10), disorderly conduct (Sec. 62-14), noise control (Sec. 62-18), and other ordinances. Illegally operating ATV’s, dirt bikes, and motorized carts on roadways or in parks is against city ordinance (Sec. 86 Article VII). Individuals participating in illegal activities will be charged or arrested for violations of State laws and/or City ordinances. Penalties for the offenses could be up to a fine of $1,000.00 and (1) one year in jail.
Acting in accordance with the State of Georgia Governor’s Executive Orders and COVID-19 guidelines, officers will enforce the ban on social gatherings of more than 50 people. Citations may also be issued for minors (youth under the age of 18) out past the local curfew which 12am-6am every night. Public parks close at dusk and no one should remain in a park unless permitted through the Douglas-Coffee County Parks and Recreation Department. No motorized vehicles, weapons, illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, underage drinking, and inappropriate activities are not allowed in city parks.
“In this uncertain time with COVID-19, we are witnessing an increase in unacceptable behavior that we are taking actions to curtail. Although we have some issues, we know that we can count on our citizens to comply with the ordinances and COVID-19 guidelines so that law enforcement will not have to become involved,” says Davis.
Citizens are encouraged to spend time outdoors, however, everyone should remember to social distance and respect neighborhoods and the community. To report non-emergency illegal activity anonymously, call the See Something, Say Something Crime Tip Line (912-260-3600). For a full listing of City of Douglas ordinances, please go to www.cityofdouglas.com. For more information, please contact the City Manager’s office at (912)389-3401.