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VALLEY PATRIOT EDITORIAL: Police Details Needed?

April,2007

We’ve noticed that North Andover Licensing Commission members always give a nice little speech to each new license holder about the how strict they are and how they have a “no tolerance policy.”

Oh really? Let’s Take a quick look at some recent police calls, shall we?

 The situations above are very serious in nature.

 The incident at China Blossom on September 2nd involved a stabbing in the parking lot. The injured victim was hospitalized. The December 17th incident involved a fight inside the restaurant requiring at least four police officers to respond. The December 31st incident involved a call that a female was seen driving from the restaurant who appeared intoxicated. Officers drove around looking for the alleged female driver without success. The police were called to the Beijing on December 15th because of a large fight inside the restaurant and an employee serving an intoxicated individual whom police had to take into protective custody. At that time, an employee of the Beijing was assaulted by a group of patrons in the restaurant who kicked him in the face. In the police report filed by Lt. Gallagher to Chief Stanley, Gallagher states that because of the “large fight inside,” all shifts were called to the scene. The bouncer suffered a broken cheekbone and five individuals were arrested. The January 18th incident also involved a fight and intoxication where two officers were called to the scene and a man was taken into protective custody. The February 3rd police call was a complaint about a patron who appeared too intoxicated to drive and a cab had to be called.

 The North Andover Licensing Commission is conducting a formal hearing on the December 15th and January 18th Beijing incidences only. The Commission is not investigating the China Blossom incidents or the Beijing February 3rd case.

 So now we must ask, why are there so many calls to particular restaurants in town and why isn’t more being done to stop the violence and the serving of alcohol to intoxicated patrons? Why are these establishments allowed to continue serving alcohol?

 Section 204CMR 2.05(2) of the Licensing Statute says: “No licensee shall permit any illegality to occur on the licensed premises. The Licensee is responsible for ensuring that no disorder, disturbance or illegality takes place in or on the licensed premises.” Presumably, this would include fights, assaults, stabbings and all of the above incidents. So why isn’t more being done? Why isn’t the Licensing Commission investigating all of these incidences for violations? If restaurant employees can’t solve the problems, why isn’t there a mandatory police detail? We say that the North Andover Licensing Commission ought to be doing a lot more than making speeches about how strict they are. They ought to be aggressively solving the problem.

 Police details might be a good start.

ValleyPatriot

ValleyPatriot

The Valley Patriot is a free monthly journal of news, commentary, and events, serving Northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.

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