Plan makes it tougher to get alcohol permits extended - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Plan makes it tougher to get alcohol permits extended in Wilmington

City leaders say violent crime in the downtown area has decreased dramatically since the policy went into effect in 2010. (Source: WECT) City leaders say violent crime in the downtown area has decreased dramatically since the policy went into effect in 2010. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Wilmington City Council decided Tuesday night to extend the city's alcohol permitting process for another four years.

The policy sets forth a recommended procedure for permit applications and city recommendation.

City leaders say violent crime in the downtown area has decreased dramatically since the policy went into effect in 2010.

"We've seen big reductions in crime in the downtown area and I believe the City Council is pretty happy with it," Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. "It looks like they're going to bring it forward to keep it going here for a period of time."

The current policy allows liquor license applicants to apply for voluntary committee reviews from the policy committee.

According to the presentation, three applicants have requested committee review out of a total of 56 applicants. The committee recommended the denial of two of those applications and approval of the third.

Staffers said the additions of Alcohol Law Enforcement cooperation and the downtown task force implementation have also helped cut down on downtown bar crime.

Evangelous said the entire process has worked well to prevent problem bars from operating in the city limits.

"We've been able to close them and not re-issue those permits, and we think that has had kind of a cause and effect. I think a lot of our proprietors down there are responsible," Chief Evangelous said. "There's a lot of success stories coming out of downtown, so I'm real happy with the results and I know the council is and I know that the people who live downtown are happy with the results."

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