ComPol Williams says liquor license extensions are a problem for the police
The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says that liquor license extensions continue to be a problem. According to Williams, several liquor licensing boards across the country are issuing special extensions without consulting the police. Yesterday, Williams was asked if the increased consumption of alcohol during holidays and special events leads to violent crime and if the department can do anything to stem the issue. Here’s how the Commissioner responded.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I have a serious issue with the liquor licensing boards for the most part across the country there are a few of them that do work with us but for me issuing a liquor license or issuing an extension or issuing a special liquor license should not be based on making money it must be based on the greater good of the society and we are seeing where liquor licensing boards are issuing special liquor licenses, issuing extensions without consulting the police. When we do these things we have to have the police as a part of the process because we need to make sure that whatever event will be had that the police will be able to police it. And when you just issue liquor license to each and any person because you are going to make a little bit of money and we have the sale of alcohol so fragmented across the town or village it makes extremely challenging for the police and when things go wrong the police gets the blame. We need to strike a balance while yes we do understand that people want to celebrate, people want to drink but if we can have these selling of alcohol in one area concentrated in one area it makes it more easier for us to police as opposed to having it all over the place and we are not able to police it then things occur and then we get the blame for it. So I would like to see more cooperation from the liquor licensing boards and I have said to my commanders that whenever the liquor licensing board issues a new liquor license to an individual or an extension without consulting the police or not having proper security then we must go and close them down I don’t care who gives them the license we must close them down. The law has enshrined within it certain provisions which includes to get an input from the police and when you issue without following the process then as far as I’m concerned from a legal standpoint the license is void and that’s what I’m saying to my officers. So you will get a number of complaints, they might go and cry to the media police are closing down events even though they have license and the reason for that is because the proper process was not followed.”