New York City's answer to nightlife problems...
THEN SHUT THEM DOWN: CITY
By FRANKIE EDOZIEN
October 19, 2006 -- The Bloomberg administration revealed yesterday that it will propose cleaning up the city's out-of-control nightclubs with new "two strikes and you're out" legislation.
The bill would give city officials the power to shut down clubs that get hit with two or more serious offenses in a year.
"Our bill will enable the court to close premises where there have been two or more crimes of murder, manslaughter, felony assault or gang assault within one year," said Shari Hyman, director of the mayor's Office of Special Enforcement, at a hearing before the City Council Consumer Affairs and Public Safety committees.
"Additionally, the bill allows for the closing of an establishment for two or more violations of selected provisions of the Alcohol Beverage Control Law," Hyman added.
Bloomberg officials also said they support Council Speaker Christine Quinn's proposal to have cameras at club entrances and exists. But they don't back her plan to require high-tech ID scanners to check patrons' ages and allow off-duty cops to be hired by clubs to police the exterior areas.
"We believe the use of [police] in that manner is contrary to the ABC law. It's illegal," NYPD Assistant Commissioner Susan Petito testified.
David Rabin, president of the New York Nightlife Association, said the administration's positions were counterintuitive.
"Why on earth would I call the police ever again if I'm risking my entire business?" asked Rabin, who co-owns the Lotus nightclub.
"Where is the discussion of an overall change in NYPD's philosophy . . . as opposed to [putting] us in a gotcha situation?"
Robert Bookman, an attorney for the nightlife industry, said the council's proposals for scanners were, at best, flawed.
"Your bill says if somebody appears under 30, they have to have ID and we have to scan it. That's ludicrous in the hospitality city of the world," he said.
This year, two young women, Imette St. Guillen and Jennifer Moore, and two young men, Antonios Sasarakis and Gustavo Cuadros, have been killed violently after they interacted with bouncers or people they met after a night of drinking.