Graziano had been asked how much it would cost the City to have two more officers on duty from midnight to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. (Currently, there are only three officers on duty through the night in Hudson.) His answer was $48,880--$47 an hour (the officers would have to be paid overtime) x 5 hours a night x 2 nights a week x 2 officers x 52 weeks a year.
Moore also reported, based on police records, that "large disturbances seem to happen more after 2 a.m." and "stabbings, shootings, and fights seem to happen after 2 a.m."
Barbara Walthour, owner of the Savoia, objected to Moore's numbers, saying he was claiming there were 12 more calls to the Savoia than there were when the police chief reviewed the numbers with her previously. Moore explained that conversation took place in July, and there had been 12 calls to the Savoia since July. Walthour tried to dismiss the evidence, saying the police had been summoned by "the lady at the corner who calls all the time." Later, a man who had accompanied Walthour to the Police Committee meeting insisted, "The same person who doesn't want the Savoia to be there is making the calls to the police."
Walthour's companion at the meeting, identified in the Register-Star as James Rose, described a pattern of late night behavior. "The crowd from Wunderbar [which closes at 2 a.m.] come to the Savoia looking for food." Whereas the restaurants in Hudson typically close their kitchens and stop serving food at 9:30 or 10 p.m., the Savoia doesn't start serving chicken wings and other bar food until 11 p.m. Chief Moore talked about "travel points": "If one place closes at 2 a.m. and another stays open, [between those two points] is where things get broken." He cited planters, flowerpots, and car windows. He also talked about "loud gatherings, assaults, and fights . . . happening outside the bars."
Walthour countered by saying, "I can't do anything more than I've already done. . . . What happens happens after they leave my establishment." Mayor William Hallenbeck corroborated Walthour's claim: "The Walthours have always been cognizant of the need to run a safe establishment." In contrast, Council president Don Moore told Walthour toward the end of the meeting, sarcastically and with a hint of frustration, "You've done a very good job of explaining why none of this is your responsibility."
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It was revealed that the victim of the shooting early Saturday morning reportedly told police he had been drinking at the Savoia, and there is allegedly evidence that he had been at Wunderbar earlier that night, but Alderman David Marston (First Ward), chair of the Police Committee, cautioned, "It is not a productive path to connect shootings and the bars." Later, Rasner told of his experience in two other communities where, he reported, "business went away overnight when someone was shot." When he called the current situation in Hudson "a ticking time bomb," Hallenbeck cut him off. "You're making it sound like you can't walk on the street," Hallenbeck protested. He spoke of reforms made in the police department during his administration and told Rasner that, although he often agreed with him, in this instance, he rejected what he was saying.
On the topic of police reform and crime, Chief Moore reported that a comparison of crime statistics for 2013 and 2014 shows that the number of crimes is trending downward, but he also noted that the severity of crime is escalating and suggested that there is a correlation between late night drinking and the severity of crime.
No decision has yet been made about imposing a 2 a.m. closing on all bars in Hudson. Marston noted that only 36 percent of the police calls to bars occurred after 2 a.m. He also asked rhetorically, "Do two bars warrant a change that affects all bars?"
Alana Hauptmann, proprietor of the Red Dot, pointed out that there had been no police calls to the Red Dot in 2014, and, in the fifteen years the bar and restaurant has existed, "it's rare that we ever had to call the police." She argued that it was unfair to require all bars to close at 2 a.m. when only two bars were problematic. "We don't stay open until 4 a.m. every night," said Hauptmann, "but when we do, that's when we make money."
Tony Stone, co-owner of Basilica Hudson, suggested that having all the bars close at 2 a.m. might bring new problems. "If all the bars closed at the same time," he mused, "it might be more dangerous if a hundred intoxicated people were on the streets at the same time."
Chief Moore noted that bar owners in Hudson used to have an association to discuss problems and brainstorm solutions, implying that such an organization might be useful again. In answer to a question from Alderman Ohrine Stewart (Fourth Ward), Moore confirmed that the police department had filed a report about the Savoia with the New York State Liquor Authority and were awaiting a response.
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