Paterson City Council debates late-night business curfew

Members of the Paterson City Council are debating the city's "hot spot" curfew ordinance.



The ordinance, which was passed a few months ago, forces businesses in areas known for high instances of crime to close by 11 p.m. during the workweek and 12 a.m. on weekends. An issue now is whether the curfew should be lifted after a few months if crime rates go down, or whether the curfew should stay in place for two years.



Councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman believes the hot spot label should stick for two years.



"The police department is saying we need it for two years, which I agree with," says Akhtaruzzaman. "You can't see the concrete result, and we just passed this law a few months ago."



However, Council President Julio Tavarez says keeping a place "hot" for two years is arbitrary and may be too long. He feels the curfew should be lifted if crime goes down.



"Why aren't we using quarterly data? I haven't seen anyone...say what the reason for two years is," Tavarez says. "Why not quarterly? Why not bi-annually? Why not annually?"



The City Council will take a further look at the ordinance at a workshop next Tuesday.


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