MAYOR DESTEFANO, NHPD, SENATOR LOONEY, NEW HAVEN DELEGATION, BAR AND CLUB OWNERS HAIL PASSAGE OF PILOT PROGRAM AIMED AT CRACKING DOWN ON PROBLEM BARS
(New Haven) - A two-year pilot program in the city of New Haven will change the way liquor permit renewals are issued in order to crackdown on problem bars and related establishments by bringing law enforcement into the process.
On the final day of the recently concluded session, the State Legislature approved a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven), with support from New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, the New Haven Police Department and the New Haven delegation that will require anyone filing for a liquor permit renewal application to give written notice to the local chief law enforcement official, who will then be allowed to weigh in with comments or recommendations about the renewal in writing to the state Department of Consumer Protection.
"This is a common sense bill that gives the New Haven Police Department a direct say, where the public's safety is concerned, in the liquor permitting process," said Mayor DeStefano. "Allowing the NHPD to officially identify problem bars and clubs will improve the quality of life and the public's safety. Getting this law passed was a team effort that would not have been possible without the hard work Senator Looney and the New Haven delegation.
Under current law, liquor permit renewals require sign-off from the city fire marshal; however, the chief of police has no ability to comment on a renewal and may not even know that a renewal application has been filed.
The new law, which goes into effect January 1, 2012 will require Department of Consumer Protection to take the chief of police’s comments into consideration before issuing any decision on a liquor permit renewal.
“Most permit holders abide by the law and take the terms of holding that permit seriously,” said Senator Looney. “However, as we’ve seen in the city of New Haven, some individuals do abuse the system. While local police deal on the front line when there are issues at these bars, it makes little sense that they would have no ability to comment should a permit come up for renewal.”
“We are proud and privileged to be operating in a community that places such an emphasis on public safety in order to see a downtown thrive and succeed,” said Liam O’Keefe, Director of Operations for Post Road Entertainment. “This law does not penalize the law-abiding operators; rather its intention is to keep the public safe. I want to thank the City, our state lawmakers, the NHPD and the New Haven Nightlife Association for supporting this bill."
Contact Name: Adam Joseph
Contact Email: AJoseph@newhavenct.net
Contact Phone: 203-946-8200