Your favorite four-letter words may soon cost you.
Recently, there has been a push to ban cursing in Neptune Beach as part of an effort by Neptune Beach Chief of Police, David Sembach, to reduce violent confrontations. On Memorial Day in 2013, a giant fight referred to as, “the Jacksonville Beach Brawl,” broke out in front of the Seawalk Pavilion. Despite the video footage and a response by the police, no one was arrested.
Supporters of the cursing ban, such as Sembach, are hoping the ordinance will give officers another tool to help with crowd control and the general rowdiness that patriotism ignites this coming July 4.
According to the minutes from a City Council Meeting in April, the police have been preparing for the upcoming July 4 festivities for months. “Officers are going to be on duty earlier on July 4 to make sure what happened last year did not happen again and to manage the crowd,” Sembach said. “They can stop people in the street from drinking alcohol out of obvious containers but they cannot stop people with alcohol in cups.”
Opponents to the ordinance see it as an infringement on free speech. However, the city of Jacksonville has a similar ordinance that has proved effective. The ordinance will mainly be used to prevent an escalating situation from becoming violent, not to catch people who stub their toe and call out an expletive.
If you plan on taking part in the festivities July 4, Void suggests keeping your hands to yourself, camouflaging those beers, and checking out this list of swear word alternatives.