FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Antwuane Goodman, a 27-year-old Fort Pierce native, has been wearing saggy pants for the past 10 years.
"It's a fashion thing," he said.
As he played basketball with friends Tuesday afternoon at Ilous Ellis Memorial Park, Goodman showed he was wearing two pairs of boxers -- one pair beneath the visible pair -- so his underwear technically wasn't showing.
But Goodman, who starts school at Indian River State College in the spring, may have to avoid the fashion police if the Fort Pierce city commission decides to create an ordinance prohibiting saggy pants across the city.
"If they're going to pass that law saying that the pants (can't) be dropped below," he said, "when the police come around, everybody's just going to pull their pants up."
The commission had consensus at its Monday night meeting for Police Chief Sean Baldwin to look at other cities across the state with similar ordinances for pants that hang low enough to expose underwear or skin.
"I've been getting numerous complaints about it," Commissioner Reggie Sessions said. "People are upset because it's disrespectful."
Sessions brought the discussion to the meeting because he said it's one of his biggest issues, and because he wants the city to be a trendsetter and a leader.
"We're going down untreaded waters," he said Tuesday. "There are not many cities that have anything in place to prohibit that."
Nearby Riviera Beach, Fla. created a law banning saggy pants, but it was later challenged in a state circuit court and struck down.
Sessions said that law was too broad, and the punishment was too severe.
He plans for Fort Pierce City Attorney Robert Schwerer to create an ordinance that would tighten up Riviera Beach's ordinance and make it constitutional. The suggested city ordinance would be enforced with fines and community service.
In his first day of research, police chief Baldwin found bans on saggy pants in two other Florida cities: Opa-locka near Miami and Baldwin near Jacksonville. He said Opa-locka's ordinance was upheld because it was restricted to saggy pants on city-owned property.
Baldwin said he has heard complaints for years about the saggy pants as an issue of disrespect.
"We have a lot of older people in our community that are just disgusted with it," he said. "Everybody just sort of thought it was a fad that would pass."
If the ordinance passes, Baldwin said it wouldn't create an overwhelming workload for police officers.
"It's a shame that the city commission would even be in a position to have to consider something like this," he said. "This is something parents should take care of."
Sessions said he wants the city to set a precedent and make history with the ordinance. Ultimately, he wants to clean up the disrespect and the indecency.
"They're saying this is a fashion trend," he said. "This is not a fashion trend. You're offending people."
Goodman won't have his fashion choice if the city creates the ordinance.
"If they do come out with this common law," Goodman said, "everybody should just pull their pants up and tighten up the belts so they don't get fined."
Laurie K. Blandford is a reporter for the Naples Daily News in Florida.