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How city is reacting to violence

By Devona Walker Modified: March 26, 2008 at 8:35 am •  Published: March 26, 2008
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Talks are under way at City Hall about how to curb night club violence without infringing on the rights of club owners to do business.

In the last year, police responded to more than 700 calls at just six of the city's night clubs.

In addition to an assortment of minor crimes, police responded to about 25 assaults, a kidnapping, at least a dozen grand larcenies and a report of an abandoned child.

The city has a nuisance and abatement ordinance designed to curb drug use and prostitution in public areas. In coming months, that ordinance will likely be revised to address night club violence, loitering and underage drinking, city council member Skip Kelly said.

"We are looking at some language that would give full notice to these club owners, and give police and council stronger laws that they can act on,” Kelly said. "We are looking at something that would withstand any constitutional challenges.”

At issue for the city is that some laws governing 18-and-over dance halls or night clubs are in the domain of the state Legislature, and the fact that violence is occurring at a small number of drinking establishments.

What is the issue?
Eighteen-and-over clubs have separate areas for those too young to drink legally.

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