A new plan, just approved by the Public Safety Committee, would give New Haven's police chief the opportunity to continue to weigh in when an establishment tries to renew its liquor license with the state Department of Consumer Protection.
“The State of Connecticut can't be in every spot all the time, and they're quite far away, so as long as it's not an autonomous decision as to who can and can't open a liquor spot, I believe that an assemblage of the police, local authorities, as well as the liquor commission, should make a decision together,” said Chris Candido, the owner of Temple Grill in New Haven.
The city has had that input under a pilot program, after alleging it had little power over problem nightclubs. It wants the pilot program to become permanent.
“It's the local PDs that have the knowledge of chronic problems, recurring issues of violence and criminal activity,” said New Haven Police Officer David Hartman.
Since last fall, police have increased downtown patrols, spending $7,000 a week to keep the entertainment district safe. It comes after a handful of incidents involving different clubs, including a deadly shooting at the Key Club in October.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said the plan would be one more tool for the city to help keep New Haven safe.
“Hopefully it will lead to a resolution that the Board of Aldermen sends to the General Assembly, supporting our legislative agenda on our club district proposal,” said Harp.
The pilot program ends in June, so that is why it’s important for the new plan to move forward quickly.