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Is it illegal to go topless at a Fargo pool? How indecent exposure is handled

FARGO — Almost a month ago, police arrested a Duluth, Minn. woman for going topless at a public beach, as she tried to get an even tan.

But how do Fargo police handle this same situation at public pools?

In Fargo, there's no city law stating women need to wear a top in public, but they still have to be careful.

"It's up to each pool, basically, as to what their rules are, what their expectations are, and to enforce those," said Jessica Schnideldecker, the public information officer for the Fargo Police Department. "If they ask somebody to leave or to change their wardrobe, they have to."

This leads some people who go to public pools to believe rules like that should be put up somewhere around the pool.

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"Having kids, I'm probably not the biggest fan of it, but I don't know how you can arrest somebody for it if it's not posted or it's not a law," said Carmen Swenson, who is a mother of five from Mapleton.

article4011908.ece POLL: Do you think there should be a city law in Fargo that states you should wear a top to a public pool? Do you think there should be a city law in Fargo that states you should wear a top to a public pool? Yes No

Others say they don't understand why bathing without a top on is an issue, and it shouldn't even be against the law.

"Somebody may be talked to about it, but going to the police and having somebody arrested for it is uncalled for," said Phil Thomas, who lives in Fargo.

Even though it's not a city law or a written rule at the Island Park pool, all Fargo pools have a dress code saying what you can wear.

If people don't follow the code, they technically aren't breaking the law, which Swenson thinks could make some people want to see how far they can go.

"I can see people probably testing the waters if it's not posted or if it's not made and individualized to each pool," said Swenson. "I can see people just doing it to see if they can get away with it or get in trouble or whatever the case is."

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If a person is asked to leave the pool by pool staff and the person doesn't leave, police can arrest them for trespassing.

Related Topics: FARGO POLICE DEPARTMENT
Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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