HOLDERS OF AN ALCOHOL POURING LICENSE WILL BE REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR A ‘SPECIAL LATE NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT PERMIT’ IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 1:00 A.M. - 2:00 A.M.
February 7, 2012 – The City of Springfield announced today that holders of an alcohol pouring license within the City will be required to apply for a ‘Special Late Night Entertainment Permit’ in order to provide entertainment past 1:00 a.m. Currently, licensees can provide entertainment until 2:00 a.m. The report on the proposed 1:00 a.m. entertainment license restriction follows the arrest of a 26 year old East Hartford, Connecticut man who was arrested on early Saturday morning (2:00 a.m.) in downtown’s entertainment district and charged with carrying a firearm without a license and possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card. A .38-caliber handgun was confiscated during the arrest.
The proposal for the 1:00 a.m. restriction on entertainment licenses was put forward as a result of criminal activity occurring between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m., and typically immediately after the scheduled closing time for local liquor establishments at locations throughout the City from Brightwood to Sixteen Acres and Forest Park to Indian Orchard.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “the City of Springfield has an obligation to protect the safety of our City’s residents and visitors and the activity that occurs after the bars close creates an unnecessary demand on the Springfield Police Department which could have an adverse effect on the public safety of individuals in the City’s entertainment district and in our residential neighborhoods.”
Associate City Solicitor Alesia Days was appointed by Mayor Sarno to serve as the hearing officer for a public hearing held on December 23, 2011, regarding the entertainment license restriction proposal. During the public hearing, Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet testified that as a result of the disorder in the downtown Entertainment District, cruisers are routinely pulled out of their assigned sector to assist, thereby leaving sections of the City without adequate police protection. Additionally, Captain C. Lee Bennett of the Springfield Police Department testified that from September through December 23, 2011, over 50% of the related arrests made in the entire district between the hours of 10:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m. were in the Entertainment District with most arrests occurring between the hours of 12:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. Moreover, Springfield Police Department Captain Cheryl Claprood testified that there is a heightened concern for officer safety within the Entertainment District because many of the arrests involve persons associated with gangs, involve weapons and violent offenses; including murder.
The amendment to the City of Springfield’s Rules and Regulations for Entertainment Licenses issued pursuant to M.G.L. Ch. 140 §181 and §183A will require holders of an alcohol pouring license such as a restaurant, tavern, hotel, club and general-on-premise (M.G.L. Ch. 138, section 12) license to provide the entertainment licensing authority with a written request to offer entertainment pursuant to said license for any entertainment to be held after 1:00 a.m., otherwise all entertainment authorized pursuant to that license must cease by 1:00 a.m. Licensees can apply for a Special Late Night Entertainment Permit by submitting an Application to the Office of the Mayor through the City’s License Commission Office, Springfield City Hall, Room 204, Springfield, MA 01103, and provide the following details:
a. The type of entertainment to be offered;
b. Allowable capacity of the premises as referenced in the Certificate of Occupancy;
c. The condition and set up of the premises;
d. Measures licensee will take to prevent the over service of patrons consuming alcoholic beverages; and
e. Security measures to be taken in order to prevent danger to the public safety, health or order
In furtherance of the purpose of the previously held public hearing, the following additional recommendations were made:
a. Any infraction of the licensed premises substantiated after a hearing would result in either a reduction of the entertainment hours or revocation of the license; and
b. Licensees voluntarily abide by a self-imposed 1:00 a.m. restriction on the re-entry of individuals to the licensed establishment
In February 2009, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno directed the City’s Law Department to hold a public hearing on proposed entertainment license regulations for establishments offering age 21 and under nights. In April 2009, the Under 21 regulations went into effect.
“The new Special Late Night Entertainment Permit Application Process and the Under 21 Regulations previously established are aimed at ensuring public safety will be the top priority,” stated Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “The City will monitor all establishments with an alcohol pouring license to ensure compliance.”
The 1:00 a.m. late night entertainment restriction will be published in the coming days and will go into effect thirty (30) days after publication.