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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  January 17, 2004
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Only on Eyewitness News: Providence PD Plan To Have Bars Pay For Protection Not Going Over Well
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 Bar patrols!  Business owners like the *idea* of extra protection- but not the added cost.
      The police are proposing the owners of bars in Providence's club district pay for a sepcial squad to control weekend crowds.
      And only eyewitness news reveals just how high those payouts could be. 
      So far it's just a proposal, but it's certainly got the atterntion of merchants, many of whom don't think it's fair, and they also question whether it's legal.
      There was a meeting here today at police headquarters about the proposed squad and some possible alternatives. 
      The bar scene in downtown providence can get hectic as 10,000 young people converge on weekend nights. 
      When a disturbance occurs, officers in the neighborhoods are called downtown leaving the rest of the city under protected. 
        A proposed solution is a special 24-member bar patrol unit....
        It would patrol the entertainment district on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. 
       And it would be paid for by the 42 liquor license holders in the district. 
    The costs  for example, at the high end Lupo's heartbreak hotel, capacity 1,274 would pay $14,141 a year.     And at the low end, Murphy's deli, capacity 50, would pay $555 anually. 
 "I'm running a busienss ans right now an additional cost with the way the ecoomy is going right now I don't think most people are going to be open to that." 
 But many merchants and police officers feel the majority of the problems stem from the Strand nightclub and the Complex, both owner by Michael Kent.

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