A permit to dance? Officers say this Indiana city is safer thanks to new ordinance

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – A permit to dance? Terre Haute officers say a new city ordinance requiring a permit for dances and dance parties will keep the community safer, WTHI reports. But not everyone agrees.

The Terre Haute City Council passed the ordinance in 2017. Sec. 4-301 of the city code states anyone hosting or allowing a dance party on their property without  permit will be cited. Also, hosts need liability insurance.

Terre Haute Police Sergeant Denzil Lewis tells WTHI the ordinance was created to crack down on violent crimes at parties. He says many of the people throwing the dance parties are former Indiana State University students, and they sometimes charge people to get it. Lewis says they’ve seen a decrease in incidents on the weekends they’ve been out enforcing the dance permit.

“If we see a house that is obviously having a dance party we will approach it; but for the most part, the majority of these have been calls for service, and we’ve responded to them and we’ve issued the citations,” Lewis said.

Approximately 30 dance citations have been issued since its implementation.

However, not everyone is happy about the ordinance. Terre Haute resident Tommy Williams says his birthday party was interrupted last weekend, and he was given a ticket for not having a dance permit.

“We try to have a good time out here sitting on my property having a good time associating with family but we couldn’t do that because they shut us down,” Williams said.

The ticket is for $37, but Williams says he plans to fight it.