Letter: Lima’s war on local bars

As a former owner of a downtown Lima night club, I closely watched the Lima City Council’s war on local bars with high rates of service calls from the Lima Police. Of course when the bars with high call numbers are shut down, the troublemakers will just find a new place to haunt. None of the proprietors of these establishments want the fights and violence that happens both inside and outside of their places. One fight can completely destroy a good night scene. A shooting can cause a complete loss of business.

As I recall when we pressed charges against the fighters and troublemakers, the courts did not do much to discourage repeat offenses. In addition, in order to file charges, we had to sit in the hallway at the Municipal Court with the people we were filing charges against. This caused some interesting situations.

Perhaps instead of trying to close bars and punish taxpaying businessmen, City Council could pass an ordinance with some teeth in it against disturbing the peace in a liquor establishment. A large fine and some real jail time would go a long way to stop the fighting and violence. It would not take long for the bad guys to learn that fighting and causing a disturbance in a bar does not pay off any more.

Sure there would be calls for service from the police, but once there are consequences to bad behavior, the number of calls would naturally be reduced.

One of the biggest complaints about Lima is that there is no place for young people to go to have a good time. There are places to go, just enforce the law and they will also be safe places to go.

Kenneth E Harris, Lima


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