June 1, 2001 -- The residents of Sun City West, a senior citizens' community in Arizona, are glad that their neighbors have an active love life, they just wish it wasn't quite so active.
Community leaders have asked the local sheriff's department to help reel in some of the randier residents, who have been seen showing their affection a bit too publicly — in parked cars, in a dog run, on benches.
"We have many beautiful settings, and I'm sure it's people who have been in love a long time getting a little carried away," said Mauryne Hall, a spokeswoman for the Recreation Centers of Sun City West. "We just wish they'd show a little more decorum."
Though the community has called on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to help put a stop to the public sex, Hall said that very few of the incidents were reported immediately after they were observed, and she said it's not as though couples are going at it under every bush.
"This is not a crime wave, this is not a moral issue," she said. "There's no orgy happening here."
Not a Place to Come and Die
It's just that some members of the private community of 31,000 people have been a little indiscreet, perhaps believing that because it was 3 a.m. and they were in a car, inside a dog run that is enclosed by a wall or in an apparently isolated area by a pond or on a golf course, that no one would see them with their pants down.
"Sun City West is not a place where people come to die, and I guess this proves it," Hall said. "We want people to enjoy themselves, but just have a little decorum about it."
If anyone is caught in flagrante delicto, it is not likely that they would face hard time. County ordinances regarding public lewdness say that a perpetrator would have to have the intention of being seen. According to Hall, all of the incidents reported occurred late at night in a community that "rolls up its sidewalks pretty early."
But she said anyone caught would be treated firmly.
"We don't want people to be arrested or put in prison," Hall said. "They're our members and we want to treat them with respect, but they have to treat their neighbors with respect, too."
As for the sheriff's office, a spokesman said it has jurisdiction over the community and will act accordingly, if the residents ask for help.
"We are awaiting their complaint," Detective Bill Knight said. "Then we will formulate a plan to implement to deal with the problem."