Late Night Safety Plan launched to curb violent crime in Montgomery County
BETHESDA - Montgomery County police launched a new law enforcement plan Wednesday that they hope will prevent violent crime.
The "Late Night Safety Plan" now requires businesses open between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. in high crime areas to submit and develop safety plans and have those plans approved by the Montgomery County police.
The "Silver Spring Safety Alliance" teaming police and businesses launched Wednesday morning on Ellsworth Street – a popular shopping and dining area in Silver Spring that’s seen its share of high profile crime.
The new plans are in an effort to avoid recent crime seen in the area, including young people doing donuts downtown on illegal off-road vehicles and an incident from this winter where a father was murdered in a parking garage.
"Is this also about sending a message that you can’t come here and you can’t do these things? Well I'll tell you we are going to tell people, absolutely, if you come here and do this, everybody is zeroing down on you," said Montgomery County Chief Marcus Jones.
Business owners say paying for new security cameras are worth it, if they stop crime.
"I’m not opposed to it, I think we need something in place that’s beneficial for the community, but for the restaurants as well," said Jason Mestric, owner of The Breakfast Club restaurant.
Under the "Late Night Safety Plan," businesses that don’t submit a safety plan to police will get a daily fine and face stricter penalties, and could possibly even be shut down. If a safety plan is rejected, the business would have their late night hours limited until a new plan is approved.