New Orleans council considering suspending businesses that ‘harbor violent crime’
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council is considering increased penalties for businesses in an attempt to curb violent crime in the city.
Council Vice President Helena Moreno presented a new law that would give the city and the chief of police the power to suspend the licenses of “chronic nuisance businesses that harbor violent and serious crime.”
A chronic nuisance would be defined as a business that fails to address drug, theft, and violent crimes committed on its property in a timely manner.
Businesses could face fines and up to a two-year suspension of their operating license.
The proposal is modeled after a similar bill making its way through Baltimore’s council, which would penalize businesses that knowingly allow minors to patronize or be on the premises during school hours.
“This ordinance cuts out some of the red tape that allows us to get a handle on the situation, including talking with the business directly about remediation. If all else fails, we can shut the businesses down to help stop the crime in our city. this is going to be a great tool for NOPD,” said Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork.
“People are tired of chronic neighborhood public safety issues, and we need to be able to address these challenges head-on,” said Councilmember Moreno.
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Moreno says any business accused of harboring crime would be given appropriate notice, the opportunity to provide remediation plans, and due process including court hearings.
The council will discuss the ordinance in a meeting on Thursday (Feb. 2).
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