Bull City Cracks Down, Wants to Give Police More Power
Posted May 16, 1999
DURHAM — Durham leaders are trying to stop crime near a popular downtown night club. There have been several murders and violent attacks outside the club.
Durham leaders have already tried parking fees, and now they want to go even further.
The idea behind getting tough on what goes on outside the Power Company night club is to make things safer for people.
The city wants to crack down on noise, loitering and trespassing by giving police more power to judge who is too loud and who is just hanging around.
"This seems like it gives the police a lot of control to say these people, whoever these people are, shouldn't be here. I would be concerned about who are these people and who are the people they are going to particularly choose," said resident Tatia Ash.
"Now if you are coming out here to be disruptive or to cause a problem, then you should indeed be concerned about this. Hopefully it will be passed by the city council," said resident Bill Gordon.
Durham City Manager Lamont Ewell drafted the ordinance and says law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about, but he admits it gives police a lot of discretion.
"It certainly gives them the latitude to protect the interests of the community. The officers certainly understand what that latitude is, so we don't anticipate that there would be any abuse," said Ewell.
This is really a two-part effort. The first part was to start to charge $2 at night in city parking decks. The money raised would go to increase law enforcement.