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City officials back change to loitering law

December 21, 1999

A change to Hagerstown's loitering law to prohibit loitering within 50 feet of a business that sells alcohol was unanimously supported by the City Council on Tuesday.

A final council vote on the amendment to Hagerstown's loitering law is expected on Jan. 4, City Clerk Gann Breichner said.

If approved, the amendment would go into effect after 30 days.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner commended Police Chief Arthur R. Smith for coming to the council and proposing this addition to the loitering law.

During a previous council meeting, Smith said one of his first impressions of Hagerstown was that there is a problem with loitering around some downtown bars.

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Smith said that because of the number of bars and restaurants with liquor licenses in downtown, much of the downtown area would be covered by the proposed law.

Smith, who worked for the Baltimore City Police Department before becoming Hagerstown's police chief Nov. 1, said the proposed law was "almost identical" to a Baltimore law.

- Dan Kulin

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