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Letter From Mayor to License Commission and Springfield Police Statistics

Letter From Mayor to License Commission and Springfield Police Statistics

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Published by: masslive on Jul 11, 2012
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07/11/2012

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THECITY
OF
SPRINGFIELD,
MASSACHUSETTS
MAYOR
DOMENIC
J.
SARNO
HOME
OF
THE
BASKETBALLHALL
OF
FAMEJune
29,
2012
Board
of
License
Commissioners
fortheCity
of
Springfield
PeterSygnator,
Chairman
36
CourtStreetSpringfield,MA
0103Re:
Late
NightRegulation
of
Pouring
EstablishmentsLicensed
Under
MG.L.
Chap.
138.
DearCommissioners:
I
am
writing
to
youin
follow
up
to
the
newlyadopted
regulations
requiring
a
special
permit
for
entertainment
after
1
AM
taking
place
at
pouringestablishments
licensedunder
Mass.
Gen.
Law
Chapter
138,
and
efforts
to
address
the
secondaryeffects
of
late
night
entertainment
taking
placeatsuch
establishments
on
the
city
as
a
whole,
andthe
downtown
area
in
particular.
As
indicated
in
the
hearingheldwith
regard
to
the
regulations
in
December
2011,theCityhas
beenfacedwith
challengesconcerning
the
amount
of
crimeintheCity,and,
in
particular,
the
amount
of
late
nightcrime
in
the
downtown
areaand
the
financial
expense
for
police
resourcesrequired
to
be
deployed
to
theCity’s
downtown
area
commonlyknown
as
the
“entertainment
district”wherethere
is
a
significant
number
of
pouring
establishments
licensed
pursuant
to
Chapter
138.
Asthe
entertainmentlicensing
authority,
it
wasmyhope
that
an
earlier
end
to
entertainment
at
such
establishments
wouldlikelydeterthoseindividualsfromentering
the
City
and
could
potentially
result
ina
reduction
of
arrests
and
diminish
the
cost
of
policeresources
are
consumedduring
the
late
night
hours
by
issuesrelated
to
crowdcontrol,
investigations
and
arrests
occurring
City
ofSpringfield.36
Court
Street•
Springfield,MA
01103-1687•
(413)
787-6100
 
inthe
Entertainment
District,
and
making
the
downtown
area
and
its
establishments
a
safer
place
to
patronize
forfood,
drink,
and
entertainment.
Additionally,based
onthe
violent
nature
of
the
criminalactivity,
it
places
both
patrons
of
the
establishments
and
police
atan
increased
risk
of
injury
and/or
loss
of
life.
Thenew
Regulations
were
effective
April
6,
2012.The
Regulations
have
had
a
positiveeffect
on
variouscrimestatistics
in
the
downtown
entertainment
district
sincethe
implementation
of
the
regulations.Specifically,
a
comparison
of
the
time
period
fromApril
6,
2011to
May
6,
2011
(when
the
Special
Late
NightPermit
was
not
in
effect)
and
thesame
period
for2012
(after
it
went
intoeffect)
indicates
a22%
decrease
in
the
total
number
of
calls
forservicebythe
Springfield
Police
Department
in
theStearnsSquare
area
between
Worthington
Streetand
BridgeStreet
within
the
heart
of
the
entertainment
district;
401
versus
314.In
addition,theovertime
costs
to
the
Police
Department
for
that
same
areahave
gone
down
10%
from
$16,136
down
to$14,
574.
A
synopsis
of
crimestatisticsfrom
all
of
thestreets
within
the
downtownentertainmentdistrict
for
a
similar
time
frame,
showing
the
hours
from
1:00
A.M.
to
6:30
A.M.,
broken
down
bythe
“types
of
calls”involving:
1)
“disturbance”,
2)
“gun
calls”,
3)
“man
down”,and
4)
“shots
fired”,shows
an
overalldecrease
of
50%.
A
table
of
all
arrests,
broken
down
bytype,forthesame
area
andtime
period
shows
a
total
decrease
of
44
arrestsdown
to
14;
a
68%decrease.
I
haveincluded
with
thisletter,
information
received
from
Commissioner
Fitchet
on
this
issuefor
your
information.Recently,
a
number
of
lawsuits
seeking
court
injunctions
challenging
myactions
have
been
unsuccessful,
and
the
various
state
and
federalcourts
have
upheld
the
regulatory
actions
thathave
been
implemented.Based
on
thishistory,
I
would
request
that
the
Springfield
License
Commission
consider
additionalmeasures
to
build
on
theefforts
madeto
date.
For
example,
I
wouldrequestthat
the
License
Commission
consider
exercising
its
authority
pursuant
to
Massachusetts
General
Laws,
Chapter
138,
section
12
to
adjust
the
operatinghours
forlicenses.
Under
that
state
law,the
hoursduringwhich
sales
of
such
alcoholicbeveragesmay
be
made
by
any
licensee
as
aforesaid
shall
be
fixed
bythe
local
licensing
authoritieseither
generally
or
specially
foreach
licensee.
This
discretion
applies
to
sales
after
11
P.M.
and2:00A.M.This
change
wouldrequire
the
licensingauthority
to
hold
a
public
hearing
concerning
the
publicneed
for
suchdecrease;
with
a
two
week
notice
of
the
public
hearing.Other
jurisdictions
have
different
hours,
and
regulations
have
also
beenimposed
to
prohibit
re
entry
after
1:00
A.M.
which
may
provide
examples
and
experiences
for
your
consideration.
 
I
am
requesting
that
the
License
Commission
carryoutits
efforts
with
duecourse,
in
order
to
build
ontheefforts
initiated
withthe
hearing
last
December
and
which
continue
to
this
date.
Verytruly
yours,
ayor

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