Monday afternoon Mayor Bill Finch signed into law the City Council ordinance that allows city police to prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from being at specific locations such as stores and restaurants without a parent or legal guardian between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and between midnight and 6 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays.
OIB readers have debated the validity of such an ordinance; some for it, some against it. The enacted curfew could receive a court challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union. The curfew will be phased in over the next several weeks as the city implements a community information plan and training program for officers. The curfew will also include some exceptions such as for employment.
The recent wave of violent crime is tricky community communications for the mayor. How do you show you’re responsive to resident concerns without contributing to the appearance local law enforcement cannot put a lid on the crime surge?
An extended wave of violent crime can be an economic development killer for the city at a time there’s optimism with outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops as an anchoring tenant for the Steel Point redevelopment area that will create hundreds of jobs. The Connecticut Post pounding the legal hunting gun sales at Bass Pro while officials confront the illegal firearms transported into the city adds new dimension to the issue. The Post’s (so far) persistent negative portrayal of Bass Pro seems like the goal is to make enough noise to kill the deal with the city. Would you rather have no Bass Pro or a leading outdoor retailer creating hundreds of jobs? Why demonize Bass Pro? It’s not the problem.
In addition, the crime issue has also taken center stage in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary between Ed Gomes, Ernie Newton and Andres Ayala.