The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Charlotte City Council are discussing whether to create “public safety zones,” city areas where people with past arrests would be prohibited from entering.
Under the controversial proposal, Chief Kerr Putney could designate a high-crime area as a safety zone in response to crimes such as drug sales or discharging guns that were committed on public property.
Someone who has been arrested for crimes in the area could be issued a notice that they are no longer allowed to enter, for as long as the safety zone is in effect. Entering the zone after being prohibited would be a misdemeanor.
The bans could be appealed for reasons that include entering the area to go to work or to pick up a child from school.
The idea isn’t new to Charlotte.
The safety zones would be similar to the city’s “prostitution-free zones” that were started in 2005. That ordinance had a three-year sunset and wasn’t renewed in 2008.