City leaders review alcohol permitting process - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

City leaders review alcohol permitting process

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On Monday, Wilmington City Council reviewed the city's alcohol permitting process with members of the Wilmington Police Department. (Source: WECT) On Monday, Wilmington City Council reviewed the city's alcohol permitting process with members of the Wilmington Police Department. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

On Monday Wilmington City Council reviewed the city's alcohol permitting process with members of the Wilmington Police Department.

According to a presentation from city staffers, the policy currently sets forth a recommended procedure for permit applications and city recommendation.

The presentation stated that 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. It looks like they're going to bring it forward to keep it going here for a period of time," said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.

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 that has had kind of a cause and effect. I think a lot of our proprietors down there are responsible," Evangelous said.

He hopes the downtown continues to improve regarding public safety.

"There's a lot of success stories coming out of the 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," Evangelous said.

The city council will vote on whether to continue or change the policy at an official meeting in September.

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