Chicago Alderman aims to get tough on crime by introducing tougher liquor license requirements – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago alderman is taking action to crack down on crime in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods by introducing an ordinance to make it harder for bad businesses to get liquor licenses.

This comes after two shootings at a nightclub called the Point.

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While The Point remains closed, Ald. Scott Waguspack (32nd) said it was subject to a short-term closure, meaning the owner can request a hearing to appeal the notice.

“Until last year it was a really safe area, but it became dangerous because of bad actors,” he said.

Police branded The Point a threat to public safety last week, but Waguespack said it was not the only business stirring up trouble.

“On this particular block of 1,500, there are a handful that we personally want to take the strongest action on and say they are going to the committee to clean up this block,” he said.

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Waguespack said it recently introduced an ordinance to strengthen the time frame within which a bar should respond, including imposing stricter measures on it to respond to the city and the liquor commissioner.

“Ninety-five per cent of our bars and restaurants are doing a great job, but we still have a handful that absorb 90 per cent of community and police effort. And it’s that small percentage that ruins it for everyone,” he said.

He said surrounding businesses should take mutual responsibility to take strict measures.

“This is the second shooting there, and that doesn’t mean they caused it,” he said. “There are other bars that have also contributed to this problem. And the thing is, none of them escalated until recently.

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Waguespack said the next step is to hold community meetings, bringing together neighbors, community businesses and the chamber of commerce, which he says could last up to a year.

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