New Albany could potentially be the next Mississippi municipality to address the issue of “sagging” pants through law.
At the request of Ward Three Alderman Tommie Beasley, the Board of Aldermen will discuss the topic in an open meeting on Nov. 6.
Beasley, who has mentioned his desire for the city to adopt an ordinance to ban the wearing of saggy pants in past meetings, said Wednesday that it has become an increasing problem in recent years.
“It’s just not very decent to me to have a young man who could potentially be a leading citizen of the community walking around with his underwear showing,” Beasley said.
Should New Albany pass such an ordinance, it would follow in the footsteps of other Mississippi municipalities, including Kosciusko, Fulton, Columbus, Tunica, Tupelo, Ripley, Indianola, Meridian, Columbia and Saltillo, that have all adopted similar ordinances.
Most of these ordinances define “sagging” as appearing to wear pants or skirts more than three inches below the top of the hips exposing the skin or undergarments.
In terms of penalties for violation of these ordinances, some cities, like Tupelo, have adopted a $50 fine for the first offense, while others have simply served warnings.
Subsequent violations have varied from $50 to no more than $200, while some municipalities have also included the possibility of community service.
New Albany Mayor Tim Kent said that City Attorney Reagan Russell has researched ordinances from other municipalities and has submitted copies to the board for its consideration.
“He’s tried to pick out parts from each of them that the aldermen may want to consider,” Kent said.
Beasley said that he hopes to pass an ordinance similar to the one Tupelo adopted in February.
“I would like it to stay within reason,” Beasley said.