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Handling 'nuisance' calls

September 21, 2006

The proposal to create a series of fines for businesses and individuals who account for a large number of "nuisance" calls to the Hagerstown Police Department is a good idea.

Businesses that become magnets for activity such as loitering and drug dealing should have to pay for the cost of police service. Otherwise, those residents and businesses that don't need as much attention are paying to subsidize those who cause repeated police calls.

We do have a question regarding the use of such fines for bars and taverns where fights and other activities are a problem: Shouldn't that be part of the licensing process?

Serving alcohol to the public is a serious business and the operators of those establishments must not allow rowdy patrons to injure others inside or cause problems outside by disturbing neighborhoods or urinating in public.

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Requiring "problem" establishments to hire security personnel as a condition of license renewal might clean these problems up in a hurry.

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