SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 15, 2012

Our view: 'One Strike' a good first step for Salem

Given the troubles of the past few weeks and the rapidly intensifying Halloween madness, it was good to see two dozen restaurants and bars in downtown Salem step up to help keep the city’s streets safe for everyone.

Under the “One Strike You’re Out” program, anyone arrested or issued a no-trespass order by police at one of the participating restaurants will be barred from that establishment and all of the others for six months. Essentially, one serious transgression gets you banned from 24 businesses. Police will provide restaurants with fliers that include a photo of the offender.

The policy’s success depends on restaurants showing a united front against troublemakers, and not just kicking them out and sending them down the street to become someone else’s problem.

It’s also good to see Bangkok Paradise listed among the participating businesses, as police have linked the Washington Street restaurant to several recent late-night incidents. On Sept. 1, the Police Department’s entire shift responded to the restaurant when several fights erupted and a crowd of about 100 people spilled onto the street.

At a Licensing Board hearing last week, police Capt. Brian Gilligan called the crowds that gather outside the Bangkok “noncompliant, belligerent and bordering on violent, consistently.” A lawyer representing the bar owner said steps are being taken to rectify the problem.

The issue, however, isn’t limited to one location. Police have dealt with several skirmishes in the downtown, which attracts hundreds of young people on weekends. The number grows in October, when Halloween festivities attract out-of-town visitors.

As our Tom Dalton reported earlier this month, there have also been incidents of property damage and vandalism. Rouge Cosmetics on Derby Street, for example, has reported hundreds of dollars in damage to planters and shrubs.

Salem downtown has a well-deserved reputation as a great place for locals and visitors alike to spend a relaxing evening. With the recent rowdiness, it runs the risk of tarnishing that reputation. Fortunately, the restaurants involved in the One Strike initiative seem to be ready to take their responsibility seriously.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium