Elrich Signs Late Night Business Safety Plan Bill

A bill has been signed that leaders believe will help enhance safety for businesses open late at night. 

County Executive Marc Elrich signed the Late Night Business Safety Plan bill on Wednesday. He was joined by councilmembers, the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce (GSSCC) President and Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones.

“Montgomery County really is changing and has changed from the type of community that — you know we really didn’t have a lot of late-night activities in this county for a very long time,” Jones said.

“It is not strictly Silver Spring,” Elrich said. He said issues have been raised in other communities in the county.

“This is a countywide policy,” he said.

The county council voted 9-2 to approve the bill last week. Elrich announced the legislation earlier this year.

“I know what’s most important to all of us is how we feel in our community,” Councilmember Kate Stewart said. “And making sure that when we go out at night, when our children go out, when our families go out, that we feel safe in our community. And that is the step we are taking today.”

Councilmember Sidney Katz said, “I’m somebody that wants businesses to prosper. But I’m also somebody that realizes that if you want your business to prosper, it has to be safe. It has to be safe for you, it has to be safe for your patrons, it has to be safe for the neighbor.”

According to a council press release, “As amended, the legislation applies Countywide to businesses that provide on-site consumption of tobacco, food, alcohol or cannabis, and either: operate between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.; or operate between midnight and 2 a.m., and have been the subject of two or more service calls for law enforcement to respond to serious incidents during the prior 12 months.”

After the council approved the bill last week, GSSCC and police launched the new Silver Spring Safety Alliance for businesses.

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