Last we knew: Last Halloween, Boulder police ticketed about a dozen people for indecent exposure during the annual "Naked Pumpkin Run" on the Pearl Street Mall. In June, police threatened to ticket participants in the "World Naked Bike Ride." People heeded that warning and covered up for the event.

Latest: Boulder is drafting a public nudity ordinance that would make it illegal to be naked in public and give police another enforcement option -- aside from the state's indecent exposure laws.

Next: Boulder City Council members will consider a nudity ordinance next year. If people organize a Naked Pumpkin Run on the mall this Halloween, police will arrest violators for indecent exposure, which could require them to register as sex offenders.

Boulder is drafting a public nudity ordinance that police could use against people who streak or participate in the popular "Naked Pumpkin Run" or "World Naked Bike Ride."

A municipal nudity ordinance is needed because the state's indecent exposure law -- which requires convicted violators to register as sex offenders -- is not appropriate for nudity-related pranks, said Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner.

Still, because the city's proposed nudity ordinance wouldn't be on the books until next year, Beckner said his officers will continue enforcing the state's indecent exposure law this Halloween if people organize another Naked Pumpkin Run on the Pearl Street Mall.

And this year, Beckner said, his officers will arrest people rather than just issue tickets.

"We want to stop that type of activity," Beckner said, referencing a Halloween "mall crawl" in the 1980s that was shut down in 1991 after it turned into a drunken festival of tens of thousands of people. "We don't want to have an anything-goes atmosphere on the mall again during Halloween."

Boulder's Naked Pumpkin Run annually draws hundreds of unabashed runners to the Pearl Street Mall wearing carved pumpkins on their heads and nothing else. For many years, police didn't have the staffing levels to ticket runners, but last year the department put more officers on duty.

The extra patrols landed a dozen naked runners with indecent exposure citations. But none of the people ticketed was convicted of indecent exposure, and many of them had the charges dropped altogether.

That, in part, was because police had trouble identifying the masked runners, Beckner said. Arresting suspects this year will help officers confirm identifications in court, he said.

Police in June threatened to charge people who were "full" participants in the annual World Naked Bike Ride with indecent exposure. The threat prompted participants to cover up, and no tickets were issued.

Beckner said his department agrees with critics who say indecent exposure -- and the sex-offender penalty that comes with it -- is not an appropriate charge for people who are pulling nude pranks or participating in naked events.

"If we can address it in a municipal ordinance, we can meet our needs, and it doesn't put people in the sex-offender category," he said.

The draft ordinance, which won't go before the City Council until next year, would make it illegal to walk around naked in the city, Beckner said. Boulder's only existing municipal ordinance banning public nudity is specific to Coot Lake, which was known in the 1970s and 1980s as a place to swim and sunbathe in the nude.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said he talked to City Council members last year about drafting a nudity ordinance because he, too, thinks it's difficult for local authorities to enforce less-serious public nudity violations. The state's public indecency and indecent exposure laws require elements of proof "other than simply being without one's clothes."

Public indecency has to do with sexual acts in public. Indecent exposure applies to someone who exposes himself or herself in a manner that would cause affront or alarm to another person.

Oftentimes, Garnett said, those charges don't fit.

Denver attorney Andy Schmidt, who represented one of the ticketed naked pumpkin runners, said the state law doesn't apply to people who streak at college football games or participate in organized nude events, which is why his client wasn't convicted.

"If you streak in front of an elementary school in the middle of the day, it's different than your typical college prank," he said.

Under the existing city code, Schmidt said, "Just being naked is not a crime in Boulder."