Franklinton police chief asks youth to ‘hang out’ in town-owned parking lot

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Franklinton Police Department has been in contact with some of our business owners regarding young adults loitering in their parking lots.

Specifically, these business owners have expressed concerns about vandalism, litter and overall liability issues as they relate to people “hanging out” in their parking lots.

As your police department, we are aware there are limited entertainment opportunities for young people within our town and for many years, hanging out in the parking lots and socializing is simply a right of passage.

In lieu of criminalizing or taking punitive action against our young people for loitering on private property, we’d like to offer an alternative location. This location does not however exempt those who choose to violate the law and ultimately ruin this opportunity for everyone else.

The Town of Franklinton owns a parking lot, which is located behind Market Max between Main and Cleveland Streets. We would like to suggest this location as an alternative to loitering in the Riverside Shopping Center, Eastgate Shopping Center and Winn-Dixie Parking lot.

Although this location is an acceptable meeting location, noise ordinances, traffic laws, littering and vandalism will all be enforced.

We ask our young people to please be responsible and respectful to this alternative location and work with us to alleviate the concerns of our business owners by adhering to their requests.

We know it will take some time for word to travel therefore we will only be advising those who are found in the aforementioned locations to relocate to the alternative location.

Please be mindful of curfew laws as well.

We have a great town and we aren’t particularly interested in chasing young people from one parking lot to the next, especially when more pressing issues take priority.

Let’s work together so everyone may enjoy themselves but not at the expense of someone else.

This article was written by Justin Brown, who is the chief of police for the town of Franklinton.