Salem police looking to scare off troublemakers
SALEM, Mass. (WHDH) -- Salem police are trying to scare off trouble this Halloween, and they're targeting local restaurants.
Thousands flock to the area for the holiday and it's always chaotic, but police and local businesses are tired of the trouble that comes with it -- so they say it's one strike and you're out.
Salem police and local business owners are teaming up to instate a “one strike” deal which some say is harsh and others say is necessary for offenders.
At Adriatic and downtown Salem, there is a zero tolerance program in place; cause a disturbance once, and you’re no longer welcome in the restaurant -- or two dozen others in the city for six months.
“There’s a lot of young kids, a lot of problems going around downtown so thus program will help,” said Vini Kurti, Adriatic restaurant.
Police say they’ll keep tabs on the troublemakers and will back up businesses that are warning customers with one strike posters in their windows.
“If you’re banned from a certain establishment, that gets forwarded electronically to the other establishments that are participating in this program. A little photograph, a little blurb about the incident, if they walk into an establishment and they’re recognized as somebody on this least, they’ll ask them to leave. Of course if the person’s uncooperative, we’ll get the call,” said Lt. Conrad Prosniewski, Salem Police Department.
“It’s kind of harsh but at the same time maybe it makes sense if you’re a troublemaker in one place you’ll probably be a troublemaker somewhere else,” said Kiana Stewart.
It’s not the first time restaurants have banded together. The move comes after late-night brawls that some say take away from the city’s charm during the Halloween season.
Businesses say bringing back Salem’s one strike system is good for their bottom line.
“A problematic person will disturb the other persons so we’ll lose customers that way,” said Kurti.
The city tried the one strike police a few years ago.