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Jonesboro may join anti-sagging pants bandwagon

Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox said people wearing their pants too low is not a widespread issue in the city, but he wants to nip it in the buttocks –– before it grows into one.

Hot on the heels of the Hampton City Council's recent decision to make it illegal for a person to wear what are commonly called "sagging pants," the Jonesboro City Council is about to begin weighing an amendment to the city's "Disorderly Conduct" ordinance that would have the same aim. It will make people in the city pull up their pants, and keep them up.

"We don't have this problem happening in the city a lot right now, per say, but we're trying to be ahead of the curve on this," the mayor said.

The Jonesboro City Council is scheduled to do a first reading, and a public hearing, on the "sagging pants" amendment during a work session on Monday, at 6 p.m., at the Jonesboro Police Department, 170 South Main Street, in Jonesboro.

The city's mayor said the council is expected to conduct a second reading, and take a vote on the amendment, at its Aug. 8 business meeting.

"This is an amendment aimed at pulling the pants up," Maddox said. "It's for the quality of life in Jonesboro. Nobody likes to look at anybody else's underwear."

Sagging pants is an issue that has been in the news often in recent years, as cities take aim at the fashion trend, which often is illustrated in boys and men wearing oversized pants that hang low on their bodies, allowing their underwear or bare skin to be visible in public.

On July 22, Hampton Mayor R.W. Coley signed a city ordinance into law that made sagging pants illegal in his city. Several other Georgia cities, including Cordele, Albany, and Dublin, have similar ordinances on the books, officials in Hampton have previously said.

Maddox said he began looking into anti-sagging pants laws after Hampton passed its ordinance, in an effort to be proactive on the issue.

A copy of the amendment shows that people could be charged with "Disorderly Conduct," if they "appear in a public place, or in view of the public, wearing pants, shorts, or a skirt more than three inches below the hips [defined in the amendment as being the ‘crest of the ileum'] exposing the skin, undergarments, or underwear."

The amendment shows that Jonesboro police officers will have the discretion to verbally warn offenders "to pull up their pants." But, If an offender refuses to comply, the officer can then charge the person with "Disorderly Conduct." If the council approves the amendment on Aug. 8, it will go into effect 10 days later.

Jonesboro City Clerk Janice Truhan said fines would be set the city's municipal court judge.

The city council's work session agenda shows that the city's governing body will also review Jonesboro's second quarter finances and tax digest, possible grant opportunities, and designation of several streets as "No Left Turn" spots.