CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) — Clemson City Council will consider amending its disorderly conduct ordinance to include outlawing public urination and defecation.
“Public urination and defecation is a problem,” Catherine Watt, a Clemson City Councilmember, said.
According to Clemson Police Chief Jorge Campos, public urination has been a continuous issue in the city. He said surveillance cameras captured more than 10 incidents in one weekend.
Campos also said his department received two reports of public defecation in the last few weeks.
“We normally see it a lot when there are large events in town and there are a lot of people in town,” Campos said. “On a typical Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, we also see it in different areas of town. People who live here usually know where to go if they need to use the restroom. It’s usually people who don’t live here. But if they do live here and they’re not used to that area, unfortunately a lot of it, I highly suspect, has to do with being inebriated and not really caring about what the consequences would be.”
The city said people have publicly urinated and defecated in walkways and alleys in the downtown area. It has also happened at a church.
“University Lutheran Church has certainly experienced this to the point that they are installing cameras,” Watt said.
“Recently, we put a couple of cameras up in our downtown area to try to detect vandalism and other acts that were going on,” Campos added. “Then, as we were watching for those acts, we noticed there were people using the restroom in those areas as well.”
Although some of these acts have been caught on camera, Campos said it could be challenging to prosecute someone because city law does not state that it is illegal.
“If someone really wanted to challenge it, it would be difficult to prove because it doesn’t specifically state those acts as being disorderly,” Campos said.
“I was surprised that it was not already part of an ordinance,” Watt added. “Disorderly conduct, you think, speaks for itself.”
Watt said the city will add more lights and cameras in areas where this is taking place.
“The city does not own a lot of property downtown,” she said. “It’s not well within our ability to add public restrooms. Maybe that is something that we need to consider.”
Clemson City Council was originally set to vote on amending the ordinance at Monday night’s meeting, however it was pushed back two weeks after the city attorney made additions to clarify points in the ordinance.
Watt also said discussion at Monday’s meeting could result in the city council evaluating if it needs to add more public restrooms.