VIDEO: Lawrence Superior Officers President Calls for Rolling Back Nightclub Closing Hours to 12am – Mayor Supports Change

By: Tom Duggan – Nov. 19, 2017

PHOTO: Tom Duggan (c) The Valley Patriot, 2017

PHOTO: Tom Duggan (c) The Valley Patriot, 2017

After another night of violence and mayhem during last-call at Lawrence nightclubs Friday, Lawrence Superior Officers Union President Scott McNamara has called for the rolling back of club closing hours from 2am to 12pm. 

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and at least one city councilor say they support the last call roll back. 

The union president is speaking out after video surfaced, of a fight outside a night club on Mill Street after 2am closing. Police that night were called away from other 911 calls to the area of Essex and Newbury and Essex and Mill Streets as thousands of night club patrons were all leaving the clubs at the same time. 

Nearly ten years ago, (then) Police Chief John Romero had the city rollback night club closing hours. Lawrence experienced an immediate, significant, and measurable reduction in violent crime as the result of that change.

During the Lantigua administration, night club closing times were changed again, to 2am on Friday nights bringing in a flood of patrons from other communities to Lawrence, where last call is one or two hours later.

A new city council was seated at the time (not the current council), and an argument was advanced that suggested that what the city really needed was to extend back the club closing hours in order to attract young professionals that sought to settle down in a City that maintained a “vibrant night life”.

Captain Scott McNamara and his fellow officers were exonerated on racism claims and are considering a defamation  suit against Officer Green

Captain Scott McNamara is President of the Lawrence Superior Officers Union

“This video is an example of that vibrant nightlife that Lawrence Police Officers are forced to contend with almost every weekend night,” Captain McNamara told The Valley Patriot.  

“With more than 80 liquor licenses in the City, Lawrence Police Officers simply can not be every where at once.”

“Last night’s violence occurred in spite of the fact that our club patrols were doubled, and augmented by the State Police, Essex County Sheriff’s, and Auxiliary Police.”

Man assaulted outside Lawrence nightclub Friday night.

Man assaulted outside Lawrence nightclub Friday night.

 Lawrence City Councilor Marc Laplante said that he has long favored rolling back last call for Lawrence nightclubs.

 “I have supported proposals in the past to scale back closing hours at bars and clubs. They should at least be similar to the closing hours in nearby communities. Last call at 2 AM is way too late.”

“Under the current ordinance, Lawrence is simply importing violence,” McNamara continued.

 In June, a viscous nightclub shooting at the Dubai Nightclub on Jackson St., renewed calls by some residents and candidates for office to roll back last call but those calls died down in the heat of the campaign. 


“While our neighbors across the Merrimack Valley and beyond close up shop, shudder their doors, and ready themselves for sleep, the City of Lawrence awakens. Hundreds of revelers, not yet finished with the all night party, rush to our city for last call. At closing time, these large groups simultaneously spill out onto our city streets, making the alcohol fueled violence almost inevitable.”

McNamara said that he believes it is “bad public policy for a city that can ill afford it.”


“The department has come along way in the past four years. Our statistics show that our officers are working harder then ever, and their efforts are paying off with significant reductions in most crime categories. All that progress gets overshadowed, and the city’s image suffers when the general public wakes up to yet another report of the reoccurring and predictable violence that routinely occurs in our city at club closing time.”

McNamara said that with a new city council to be seated in January, it is time to revisit this issue and bring calm to the city after midnight. 

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to

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5 Responses to VIDEO: Lawrence Superior Officers President Calls for Rolling Back Nightclub Closing Hours to 12am – Mayor Supports Change

  1. Jack Reply

    November 19, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    Why aren’t the clubs being held accountable for some of the violence ? They do have security do they not ? Where are they at last call ?

  2. Interested in Change Reply

    November 19, 2017 at 11:26 PM

    Ignorance does not discriminate. The issue is not the clubs because gun shots are heard outside of the club areas, such as Tower Hill just 5-6 nights go. The crime rate increase is due to mamy factors, growing population, gang associations, no control over the possession of guns, drug addiction, socio-ecominic breakdown, are just a few of the many contributing factors. Clubs in this city are owned and managed by business owners, not those pulling the guns out and firing shots. Stop writing opinions as news. Use facts. The video posted had so many versions and it was said to be gang related. Live in the present and accept the fact that Lawrence is a multi-cultural city, not Anglo American only. Reach out to professionals and the esucated… demand leadership that actually sees the residents who live here… not just one but all!

  3. Steve Reply

    November 20, 2017 at 5:35 PM

    Coming from San Francisco where there are many more nightclubs open every night and there is much less violence that I have heard of in the news. Its hard to understand how closing early makes a difference. Many nightclubs in SF stay open well past 2am however NO alcohol can be served after 2am. I always thought this better as it doesn’t push everyone out at the same time. Some will leave because of last call and others will stay. It also allows time to sober up a little bit before leaving. just my 2 cents.

  4. Antonio Avanti Reply

    November 21, 2017 at 1:50 AM

    Lawrence is the only place I know where the Supposively Night Life Goes Spend Hundreds into thousands of dollars as rich people and the Clubs are equipped over half Million Dollars. So they are classified by Social Economic as Poorest City of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but yet too Rich and spoiled for appropriate regulations and proper enforcement when it comes to the end of the night Violence!

  5. Gianna Reply

    November 21, 2017 at 10:05 PM

    Close earlier…common sense!

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