[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Mount Vernon 5-12-1982, approved 5-13-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Peace and good order — See Ch. 191.
The purpose of this chapter is for the protection of sworn police officers during the performance of their duties, and, in support of that aim, the following legislative findings are hereby made:
This chapter is for the protection of the City's police officers pursuant to § 10, Subdivision 1a, of the Municipal Home Rule Law, which provides that a municipality may adopt local laws for the protection, welfare and safety of its officers and employees.
Police officers are not second-class citizens who may be publicly vilified and abused with impunity while the average citizen is protected from public vilification.
[Amended 5-26-1982, approved 5-27-1982]
The presence of a third person will tend to deter the making of unjust charges of harassment by police officers.
The efficiency and morale of police officers is negatively affected if public abuse and vilification of these officers is permitted.
The physical safety from attack is threatened by insulting, inciting language directed to a police officer in a public place. Such language may encourage and incite a physical assault upon the police officer by others present in the public place.
Only those epithets and gestures which common knowledge would classify as "fighting words" or actions should be prosecuted.
This chapter is not inconsistent with any state law.
A person is guilty of harassment of a police officer when, with intent to annoy, harass or alarm said police officer, in a public place, with at least one other person present beside the addresser and addressee police officer, he directs obscene, abusive fighting words or he makes an obscene gesture directed to a police officer.
Any person found guilty of a violation of this chapter may be punished by a fine of not more than $150 or to 15 days' imprisonment, or both.