GULFPORT — The operating hours at Clam Bayou Park have been shortened.
In a compromise that gives law-abiding residents access and forces out drug-users and people having sex in public spaces, the City Council unanimously changed the hours at its meeting Tuesday to one hour before dawn to one hour after dusk. The park previously had been open from 4 a.m. to midnight.
Police Chief Robert Vincent had asked the council to shorten the hours from dawn to dusk.
"There are inappropriate things going on there," Vincent said.
Councilman Sam Henderson, who said he has friends who like to fish in the park, suggested the hours be changed to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Al Davis, whose home is on the bayou, said, "You will find 40 crack cocaine containers whenever you go there."
After the meeting, Vincent said the hours that will float with the seasons would not make patrolling — and giving citations — difficult.
"Sunrise and sunset is posted in the paper every day," he said.