Chapter 9.12
CIVIL EMERGENCY1

Sections:

9.12.010    Unlawful assemblages.

9.12.020    Civil emergency – Definitions.

9.12.030    Civil emergency – Proclamation by mayor.

9.12.040    Civil emergency – Mayor to issue orders.

9.12.050    Civil emergency – Termination of proclamation.

9.12.060    Incendiary objects prohibited.

9.12.070    Violation of orders or regulations unlawful.

9.12.080    Interference with police or fire officials unlawful.

9.12.090    Unlawful to engage or participate in riot.

9.12.100    Unlawful to participate or engage in unlawful assembly.

9.12.110    Looting prohibited.

9.12.120    Penalties.

9.12.010 Unlawful assemblages.

It is unlawful for any number of persons to collect in crowds for unlawful purposes, or for any purpose to the annoyance or disturbance of citizens or travelers; and any person who shall be one of any such crowd or congregation, or who shall refuse to separate therefrom when so requested by any police officer of the city, or who shall wilfully attract the attention of persons and cause them to congregate for any such purpose, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 256 § 26, 1955).

9.12.020 Civil emergency – Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter the terms listed below shall have the following meanings:

A. A “civil emergency” means any natural disaster or man-made calamity, including flood, conflagration, cyclone, tornado, earthquake, or explosion within the corporate limits of this city, resulting in the death or injury of persons or the destruction of property to such an extent that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

B. “Curfew” means a prohibition against any person or persons walking, running, loitering, standing, travelling, or motoring upon any alley, street, highway, public property or places open to the public, or vacant premises within the corporate limits of the city, excepting persons officially designated to duty with reference to said riot, unlawful assembly or civil emergency.

C. “Incendiary object” means a gasoline or other incendiary-type liquid or substance-filled bottle or container with a fuse-type wick inserted in the neck thereof, or any other type of incendiary bomb or contrivance utilizing any bottle or container filled with any inflammable liquid or chemical or combination thereof susceptible to spontaneous ignition.

D. A “riot” means the use of actual force or violence by three or more persons acting together without authority of law where the use of such, force or violence would endanger or tend to endanger the safety of property or persons.

E. “Unlawful assembly” means any threat, actual or implied, to use force or violence when accompanied by immediate power to execute such force or violence by three or more persons acting together without authority of law and where the threat to use the same would endanger or tend to endanger the safety of property or persons. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.080, 1972).

9.12.030 Civil emergency – Proclamation by mayor.

Whenever the mayor, or in the event of his inability to act the mayor pro tem, or in the event of his inability to act any other member of the city council acting for and instead of the mayor, determines that an emergency exists arising out of a riot or unlawful assembly, or a civil emergency, causing or tending to cause danger of injury to persons or damage to property, he shall forthwith proclaim in writing the existence of such state of emergency, file a copy thereof in the office of the city clerk, immediately advise all news media within the city of the signing of the proclamation and the contents thereof, and post copies of the proclamation at such public places as designated by the mayor. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.041, 1972).

9.12.040 Civil emergency – Mayor to issue orders.

After the issuance of a written proclamation of a state of emergency, the mayor or the representative of the mayor duly authorized to act for him as provided in Section 9.12.030, may in the interest of public safety and welfare make any or all of the following orders:

A. Order the closing of all cocktail lounges, taverns, bars, and other places where intoxicating liquors are sold or dispensed by the drink, including all private clubs;

B. Order the discontinuance of the sale of all beer and wine and hard liquor, which orders, however, shall be subject to the laws of the state of Washington by and through the Washington State Liquor Control Board;

C. Prohibit the sale, distribution, or giving away of gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products or, in his discretion, prevent all sales thereof except sales transferred directly to a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle, or in case of heating oil or liquefied gas into commercial or household tanks;

D. Order the closing of all gasoline stations and other establishments, the chief activity of which is the sale, distribution, or dispensing of liquid flammable or combustible products, except for the distribution of heating oil and liquefied gas as herein in this section provided for in subsection C;

E. Prohibit any person or persons from carrying or possessing upon any street or public place within the city any knives, clubs, rocks, bricks, or other weapons, objects or contrivances, except firearms, susceptible for use in causing injury to persons or damage to property;

F. Order or impose a curfew upon all citizens of the city, or upon citizens of certain ages within the city, or order a curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the city or to the city as a whole as he may deem advisable, applicable during such hours of the day or night as he deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare, during the hours of which no person shall be allowed in the public streets, or public places open to the public throughout the city or in any designated sections of the same, excepting persons officially designated to duty with reference to said riot, unlawful assembly, or civil emergency;

G. Order or designate any one or more of the public streets or places within the city closed to vehicular traffic and/or pedestrian traffic. (Ord. 1447 § 2, 2012: Ord. 1061 § 11, 1997; Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.042, 1972).

9.12.050 Civil emergency – Termination of proclamation.

After the issuance of a written proclamation of a state of emergency as provided for in Section 9.12.030, the mayor or in the event of his inability to act, the mayor pro tem or any two members of the council, which may include the mayor, may terminate, modify, or amend at any time such proclamation by written declaration thereof. A copy of such declaration shall be filed in the office of the city clerk and notice thereof shall be given as in the case of the issuance of the proclamation of emergency as set forth in Section 9.12.030 of this chapter. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.043, 1972).

9.12.060 Incendiary objects prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to make, carry, possess, or use any type of gasoline or petroleum based fire bomb or any other type of explosive or incendiary missile or object. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.044, 1972).

9.12.070 Violation of orders or regulations unlawful.

It is unlawful for any person to violate or refuse to comply with any lawful order or regulation promulgated by the mayor or other officer of the city pursuant to Section 9.12.040. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.045, 1972).

9.12.080 Interference with police or fire officials unlawful.

It is unlawful for any person to interfere with any police or fire official, or other public officer or employee when engaged in the performance of official duty, or to permit or assemble for the purpose of committing any act which would interfere with such officials and persons in the performance of their duty or under their direction. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.046, 1972).

9.12.090 Unlawful to engage or participate in riot.

It is unlawful for any person to participate in or engage in any riot. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.047, 1972).

9.12.100 Unlawful to participate or engage in unlawful assembly.

It is unlawful for any person to engage or participate in any unlawful assembly after the police by announcement had warned or ordered such assembly to disperse and disband. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.048, 1972).

9.12.110 Looting prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to engage in the activity of looting, stealing, or carrying away personal property without the owner’s consent from any and all premises within the city during the time that a state of emergency exists; provided, that this section shall be deemed cumulative and be in addition to all other laws and ordinances of the city relating to the theft or larceny of personal property. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.049, 1972).

9.12.120 Penalties.

Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter or of any executive order, rule, or regulation issued pursuant thereto shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, subject to imprisonment in the city jail for a term not exceeding one hundred eighty days, and subject to a fine in an amount not exceeding five hundred dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however, that any persons convicted of stealing or looting, or engaging or participating in a riot or unlawful assembly, or of interfering with any police or fire official or other public officer or employee when engaged in the performance of official duties as provided herein, shall be imprisoned for a term of not less than thirty nor more than one hundred eighty days and/or the imposition of a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and such fine and costs shall not be suspended. (Ord. 806 § 2 (part), 1987; Ord. 444 § 8.04.050, 1972).


1

For statutory provisions regarding disturbances, riot and unlawful assembly, see RCW Ch. 9.27. For statutory provisions allowing the creation of certain bodies and powers during emergencies, see RCW Ch. 38.52. For statutory provisions allowing cities to control riots, see RCW 35.23.440(10).