City of College Station looks to crack down on public urination

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COLLEGE STATION,Texas-- College Station's city council could vote on an ordinance on public urination and defecation at their meeting Thursday.

Police say they've seen an increase in people relieving themselves in public as bars close in the Northgate district. Now, they want to see the punishment increase for the crime.

"I wish we didn't have to pass an ordinance for this," said councilman James Benham. "This is like those warning labels that you see on products. They're there because of a reason somebody did something to warrant this, and so in this case, unfortunately, our police officers have been reporting a much higher incidence rate in Northgate."

Currently, if you relieve yourself in public, you're cited with disorderly conduct for exposing yourself, but if College Station passes this new ordinance, you could be paying a hefty fine.

"It's unhygienic, totally, so I think there should be a law, and I think a law is necessary for it," said one Northgate patron.

Benham said it's important to keep the area clean.

"When we see a much higher incidence rate of this type of activity, we have to do something about it," said Benham. "It's not currently illegal in a specific enough nature that allows us to prosecute it, so we're adding penalties and fines to allow our police officers to actually take action when they see this."

Those fines could be up to $500 if this ordinance is approved.

Another concern: the businesses being affected by these actions.

"There's restaurants that serve lunch and dinner. There's churches in the area. You name it, Northgate is certainly a mixed-use district, and we have an obligation to keep the area clean," said Benham.