OCEAN CITY – Although no official support has been announced, city officials appear poised to pursue posting signage this summer politely asking Boardwalk visitors to be mindful of vulgar language.
The subject of “No Profanity Signs” being posted on the Boardwalk was broached this week by the Police Commission after being discussed preliminary last month and briefly before the Mayor and Council last week.
As of Monday, Ocean City Police Lieutenant Scott Harner reported continuing to further investigate the matter.
“It is a good idea as long as it is a suggestion,” Mayor Rick Meehan said. “It is not something that we can enforce but if we can find the right wording that is powerful and at least got the message out. It isn’t going to stop everybody but it just might have people become more cognizant of the fact they are disturbing others.”
The commission viewed a rendering of a preliminary design Lt. Scott Harner quickly put together that read “No Profanity Please.” Commission Chair Councilman Doug Cymek suggested adding “Consider Others” or “Respect Others.” The signage is only a concept Harner put forward as an option. It is not official.
“We need to gain support of the downtown business community and have the Downtown Association involved in it,” Council President Lloyd Martin said. “Anybody who wants to get on board will help us to let people know it is a kid-friendly area.”
Police Chief Ross Buzzoro reminded the commission as long as the signage does not suggest Ocean City law enforces a ban against profanity the police department should have no issues.
The concept of “No Profanity” signage originates from Virginia Beach where signs are posted on and nearby the Boardwalk.
However, unlike Ocean City, Virginia Beach has a law in place that states, “If any person shall, in the presence or hearing of another, curse or abuse such other person, or use any violent abusive language to such other person concerning himself or any of his relations, or otherwise use such language under circumstances reasonably calculated to provoke a breach of the peace, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor”, which is a fine up to $500.
Mayor Rick Meehan asked Harner to bring forward some different examples of possible signage and locations for signs to be posted before the Mayor and Council to move the discussion forward.
“I think everyone thinks it is a good idea and time is ticking before the summer season is upon us,” he said.