EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHuntington Council Passes "Crime Tools" Law
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Jul. 22, 2013 5:11 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 23, 2013 10:32 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Huntington City Council unanimously passed a law, making it illegal for some people to carry "crime tools" such as pry bars and bolt cutters.
Huntington police pushed for the law. They said it would help prevent burglars from trolling for victims. Capt. Hank Dial said currently it's legal for someone to walk around with these tools in the middle of the night between houses. A new law would allow police to search, seize and arrest a person if there is enough probable cause.
The law will go into effect in 30 days.
Huntington City Council will vote on whether or not it's illegal for some people to carry "crime tools" such as pry bars and bolt cutters.
Huntington police are pushing for the law. They said it would help prevent burglars from trolling for victims. Capt. Hank Dial said currently it's legal for someone walking with burglary tools in the middle of the night between houses. A new law would allow police to search, seize and arrest a person if there is enough probable cause. But former councilman Tom McAllister said the proposed law conflicts with a Supreme Court decision and opens the city up for lawsuits.
“It's obvious somebody should talk to Hank Dial and whoever else thinks (this should be law),” McAllister said. “Of course, I'm going to council and talk to them this evening. Of course, they'll probably pass it anyway. But the city will pay out millions of dollars in case they don't do this correctly.”
Dial, however, called it a common sense law.
“We're not going to arrest a carpenter because he's got a hammer,” Dial said. “I have the ability to arrest drug dealers or users for drug paraphernalia because he has needles, but we don't arrest a diabetic in the middle of afternoon for having needles. It's a common sense thing and a lot of other factors that come into play other than possession of tools.”
Council was scheduled to vote on the ordinance at its 7:30 p.m. meeting Monday. If it passes, the law could go into effect within the next 30 days.
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