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Police, Local Officials Taking Aim at Late Night Trouble Makers

Officials outline steps being taken to keep Main Street safe.

Legis. Rob Calarco recently met with the commanding officer of the 5th Precinct and Patchogue Village officials to discuss how to combat problems "that have arisen with the increase of bars, restaurants, and music venues throughout the downtown," according to a press release from Calarco's office. 

At recent Village Board meetings, business owners have expressed concerns about drunks causing destruction late at night on Main Street, especially on the weekends. 

The 5th Precinct has increased the police presence in the Village with a newly created Whiskey Unit, a special team of three officers who are working 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. shifts on Thursdays through Saturdays, to address late-night issues directly, said Calarco, a Democrat who lives in Patchogue. 

Police have taken aim at curbing disorderly conduct, such as drinking in public and urination and fighting, with those who have been cited with the former receiving automatic summonses, while those caught fighting or involved in any other disorderly conduct are arrested and will spend a night in jail, the press release from Calarco's office says. 

Some residents and business owners have pegged the blame for the late night problems on The Emporium, the Railroad Avenue hotspot that has drawn large crowds since it opened in September, but Calarco disputed that notion. 

“I think it’s important to note that no single establishment is responsible for these late-night problems," he said. "Most of the people enjoying the night life in Patchogue are doing the right thing. But we still have to deal with the five percent who are causing trouble. I commend our police and the Village for working together proactively to make sure that all the fun transpires safely and within the law." 

Police have said the problems in the Village tend to begin at 11 p.m. as people begin leaving bars and then flare back up again at 4 a.m. after last-call when there is a dearth of taxi cabs available to get them off the streets and ferry them home safely.

According to Calarco, the 5th Precinct has heightened its visibility by parking its prisoner van, with chains visible, in the middle of the Village and having patrol cars parked along Main Street. Patchogue Village public safety officers are also partnering with the 5th Precinct officers on patrol to help keep things under control.  

The Village is also bringing in Patchogue-based beer distributor Clare Rose to sponsor an upcoming training program, TIPS, at the Patchogue Theatre. The TIPS program exists to train servers and sellers how to recognize and intervene when they see alcohol-related problems as well as state and local regulations regarding serving people who are intoxicated.

Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri said that his hope was that through education and close management, new bars in the area "will curtail the negative effects some of their patrons are having on Main Street."

“With progress comes growing pains," Pontieri said in a statement. "The Village carefully considers each new business application in Patchogue and measures the consequences to our neighborhoods and business community.

"The Village always works hard to minimize an establishment’s impacts on its neighbors and will continue to closely monitor and contain the late night activities on Main Street.”

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Laureen Prendergast December 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I am happy to see the collaborative effort going into resolving these concerns. I for one am a proponent of a "Community Service" element to the fine/incarceration process. Although, there is a cost to administer a program, it may be a deterrent as well. As for the vision or long term goals of the Village, that has yet to be publicly formulated in the form of a Master Plan. It would help eliminate long conversations at VB meetings regarding parking and street congestion issues, after establishments are up and running.
Michael A Evans LMT December 12, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Excellent point. A Master Plan would help keep things on track, and would allow residents and business owners to see past current issues to the grand scheme. I think all of the business in town is fantastic, but a healthy balance of other types of establishments should also be fostered, and a Master Plan would help guide us toward that.
Joseph Adriano December 12, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I keep seeing this same suggestion over and over. Has the Mayor and Board agreed to create a Master Plan or is this just a poster's pipe dream? I think it's a little late to do that now but if nothing else maybe it would prevent yet more bars opening on Main. Also I wonder how these other music venues get so many acts that the patchogue theater cannot? I still see the same old golden oldies and irish tenor concerts on the menu there. What's the long term plan for the theater? Is there one?
Laureen Prendergast December 12, 2012 at 05:24 PM
If you are able to attend a VB meeting, that is an excellent question to ask.
David Kennedy December 12, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Never too late for a master plan and we must keep asking for it until it happens....
David Kennedy December 12, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Thank you Legislator Rob Calarco for taking a lead in this issue. Certainly more Police presence will be a big help to address the immediate needs. Kudos Patchogue Village for bringing in Clare Rose for the training seminar for local bar/restaurant employees as well. A great idea! Still, I do maintain we need to bring together residents, business owners and local officials together for a quality of life community forum as a way to consider some long-term plans and solutions. It is quite apparent that, justified or not, there does exists an animosity between residents and business owners, and even between business owners, that needs to be addressed head on. Through a public gathering a collective understanding can be established, and help turn some "anti" into "pro" by getting all parties working together for some common goals. Let's face it, while what has recently been proposed should help quell the recent trouble, it still leaves unaddressed many perceptions of what Main Street has become, that if left to fester, will keep many residents antagonistic and resentful. While I know there are many whose mind will never be changed to see our entertainment oriented Main Street as a positive, I do believe if a working and continuing public dialog between residents, business owners and officials exists, there will be better understanding. And also remember, when the winter ends, these issues will just move back to the Riverfront...we still need a long-term plan.
Frank Finnamore December 12, 2012 at 06:36 PM
This Village has had numerous master plans over the last 30 years and not one was ever implemented. Even Dr. Lee Koppelman's Downtown Master Plan was never adopted just like the Suffolk County Planning Commission Riverfront Plan. This Village has a history of requesting Master Plans and doing nothing with them. Remember the Village Board Meetings in 2003 when Village Trustee Paul Pontieri requested and obtained six month moratoriums on riverfront development, dance halls & live entertainment, so the entire village code could be revised and updated. Well it it almost 10 years later and still nothing happened with these either. It will continue as "business as usual" as it has for the past 50 years. Maybe someone should go into the village's archives and dust off some of these Master Plans to see if they would have addressed the issues that arise again and again.
David Kennedy December 12, 2012 at 06:48 PM
While I agree that there have been some plans regarding specific locations, i.e. downtown or the riverfront, never has this Village had an all-encompassing Master Plan...and we need one. Failure to implement these plans you mention, Mr. Finnamore, is that a key component of a Master Plan is that it is on-going and continually updated by resident committees that never stop meeting. That was lacking in the designated-area plans you cite.
Frank Finnamore December 12, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Mr. Kennedy there are many concerns, not just having a village wide master plan. . The overwhelming master plan concerns are centered around commercial and mutli-family developments and usage. I am not aware of any planning issues that have occurred in this village pertaining to a one family construction, Residential neighborhoods have concerns that affect them everyday, being that streets need repaving, drainage, curbing and sidewalks. The only time that road improvements are made is when commercial/multi-family projects are being constructed or to expand the sewer system to them. The Quality of Life and infrastructure improvements should start with the residential neighborhoods, and not making them wait for 20-30 years for just getting a road repaved. Our Village Leaders instead of getting salary increases, great benefit packages, village perks and vehicles should be taking care of these issues with that tax money. Instead of doing more with less, our village is doing less with more. Lets all be honest for once: What good did all these construction projects do for you, just look outside your home and at your tax bill.
Jo Miller December 12, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I applaud the efforts of local officials to manage the late night chaos on Main St Perhaps we need to ask why we have reached the point where such draconian measures are required. There are too many drinking establishments on Main St. They are mostly frequented by young people who, because they are young, often lack judgement and fail to recognize when they have had enough to drink. Of course, once intoxicated they forfeit self control. A paddy wagon, with chains, on Main St. will do little to enhance our reputation. It may very well drive away establishment of new businesses and deter an older more subdued clientele who wish to enjoy the theatre and the restaurants There is something between Patchogue as ghost town and Patchogue as destination for uninhibited revelry. A comprehensive or master paln might have assisted us in achieving that middle ground. I might point out that the prosperity on Main St mostly accrues to the business owners. Despite the influx off free spending young people, our village government still struggles financially. Unlike the condos which bring revenue to village coffers, the bars do not. We might ask ourselves "Whom do we want to attract to the village?" Would young families or retirees want to purchase property. in a village which requires a paddy wagon on Main St. to maintain order. An appropriate question, one which, I imagine, would have been included in a comprehensive plan
Laureen Prendergast December 12, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Frank, you are making a valid point. At the last VB meeting I asked what was the plan for the rest of the $600K that was moved from the Sewer Key money fund. I was told that they do have a "Pavement Management Plan" and it is being reviewed. Trustee Keyes, stated that there is a county program that going to be addressing the revamping of streets with bike lanes, curbs, sidewalks, etc. The mayor also stated that there is CHIP money from the state available, so I trust that Trustee Keyes and Superintendent Dean are working on the "Priority list" and how the $700K plus funds will be spent.
Corbett December 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Knee jerk reactions is no way to run a village government . They create the problems. Then they what us to thank them when the work to resolve the problem. Time to dissolve the village and lower our taxes.
David Kennedy December 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Thanks Mr. Finnamore for continuing this discussion...I don't think a Master Plan is the "end all" solution to all our Village concerns, though I do think an evolving Master Planning document that encompasses an on-going dialog from all interests in our community is a great way to at least consider all issues. I also don't believe a Master Planning Document is overwhelmingly concerned or centered on Commercial interests...In fact you do an excellent job highlighting residential concerns that should be adopted in a Master Plan. I contend that our Village is too small to separate concerns: business vs resident, Main St. vs River, etc. What happens in one area of the Village effects all of us so there needs to be cohesion. Sidewalks, the type and quality of housing, how a business effects housing and visa versa are all topics that are addressable in a Master Planning Document...I think of it as a Village Statement, A Vision for our Village created by consensus, compromise and understanding. Usually the best way we gain respect of others is when we work together for a common goal. Certainly, I do agree there is the ugly political side of government that you correctly point out. Heck, I certainly played the political game myself for may years. But we can hold our officials more accountable beyond just by elections. Having a Master Planning and Village Visioning process, I believe, can help in this regard. In a way, what we are doing in this blog is a seed to this process.
Joseph Adriano December 13, 2012 at 05:58 PM
What answer have you gotten when you ask the Board about a Master Plan? Are they working on one?
Joseph Adriano December 13, 2012 at 06:02 PM
YOU are right on the money Ms. Miller. Too bad you are not serving on the Village Board.
Joseph Adriano December 13, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I agree completely. Stop putting money in your own pockets and start serving the people. Time to focus on the public benefit and not the personal benefit!
Zigsauered December 13, 2012 at 06:16 PM
They can't help it being government beaucrates. They just work there and wait for pay day.
majortom1981 December 13, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Show me one village that doesn't have a ton of places that serve alcohol? Port jeff , Huntington, and Babylon all have a Ton of bars and restaraunts that serve alcohol
jared December 14, 2012 at 12:38 AM
i love how village idiot, brick, bbq, taproom, even public house and parabell all have been operating in the village for years and we didn't have these problems until recently. Hmmm what opened up 3 months ago? Emporium
Richard Kemp December 14, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I guess Rob Calarco found a surprise at his door step which faces Railroad Ave.I guess it takes other official people to try to resolve what VOP allowed to be created. Although I have never brought it up before and no one else has either,by reading the above article there are existing Laws, Maybe N.Y. State laws (in Essence) say that a person who is intoxicated can no longer be served. Now in view of all the recent complaints of a serious nature VOP Officials will draft a better law than N.Y.State,especially since VOP has Brian Eagan ESQ.as Attorney (This comment in no way is intended to be a sarcastic shot,let's be clear about that)
Richard Kemp December 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Joseph : Good point regarding the Patchogue Theatre,unfortunately today's crowd is not interested in "White Christmas" or "Golden Oldies Groups", or some of the other groups that J.Krieger reads off at allmost every trustee meeting as a spokesperson, but not a comment as a trustee regarding financial reports of the theatre.Remember that there was a bond taken out when the theatre was being renovated.and i am talking in millions of dollars. if you notice the patchogue theatre never seems to place any ads on channel 12 t.v. but the emporium has ads galore on channel 12 news.they advertise 'twisted sister'and other groups that obviously are paying off. the long term plan should be to get that bond paid off even if it means packing that theatre 7 days a week.WAKE UP VOP OFFICIALS
Richard Kemp December 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I have a few suggestions regarding the present situation with Drunks walking on Main St. Since it is my understanding that VOP has the power and authority to draft laws that exceed N.Y.State Laws. 1.An Establishment found to be serving Alcoholic Beverages to a Minor will be subject to severe penalties (Let VOP figure out what the Penalty should be) 2.An Establishment found to be serving Alcohlic Beverages to an individual who is inabriated (SP) shall also be subject to severe penalties I am not a lawyer and these suggestions are posted as food for thought only Maybe these suggestions are not permitted at all I do not know,but at the present time a problem exists.....
Richard Kemp December 16, 2012 at 02:35 AM
David: As a former VOP Trustee I would think that you should know there are 3 basic catagories of Zoning, 1.Residential 2.Buisness 3.Industrial and each catagorie will have certain aspects that should not interfere with the other. In other words Main St is not a good location for 70 decibels of noise when there are residential neighborhoods nearby. I have previously stated to you that Patchogue Bought or obtained the Band Shell many years ago for the expressed purpose of holding concerts at that location,it should not be permitted on Main St. You have stated that Main St. is the perfect location for people to congregate,which I'm sure the High Priced merchants would love.and not to be forgotten all of the local bars,pubs and drinking establishments. I have appeared at VOP Trustee Meetings for quite a few years now. I have to say that when you are faced with a Mayor who only see's things his way and is not concerned with what VOP Residents have to say, it is like beating your head against a stone wall. After a while you just give up,disgusted with everything about Patchogue.
patty temptee December 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Villages are good, no? Isn't that why Mastic Beach became incorporated?
David Kennedy December 16, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I know zoning codes quite well, Mr. Kemp. Not sure what that has to do with creating a Master Plan. Are you suggesting zoning codes prevents a cohesive community Master Plan? I strongly disagree with that. As for "noise" on Main Street, those businesses fall under the same village noise ordinances that should be enforced evenly throughout he community. Yet your suggestions about using the bandshell as our exclusive music venue I don't think will work. In fact, the bandshell is much closer to residential homes then any business on Main Street. Do you also propose no concerts at the Theater or 89 North? That is their prime function, so not sure how you suggest they be replaced. I guess are main disagreement is that you advocate the Village should shut down many of our Main Street businesses, while I believe we can make what exists work.
Richard Kemp December 19, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Mr.Kennedy : I have read your response. First let me state that this blog is not about creating a "Master Plan" which you seem to be obsessed with,but how to resolve a serious problem that exists at present.Let me state again that the 3 basic catogories of Zoning are 1.Residential 2.Business 3.Industrial each catagorie has it's own differrence from the other,but every effort should be made in order that no one infrigences upon the other,in other words Residential has the right of "Quiet Enjoyment " of their property. You did make referrence to the Band Shell being close to a residential neighborhood,but they have obviously accepted it,including a summer festival for several days going on.You also made referrence to the Patchogue Theatre which I have previously stated should be running 7 days a week to a packed house because that Theatre has a bond floating in the millions of dollars.Untill that Bond is fully paid off no one can say that they are operating at a profit.I am a taxpayer. You also made referrence to noise,and the Theatre is self contained and bothers no one. As far as any type of exterior noise via special permit for a Joke fee of $150 or thereabouts this has been created and permitted @70 Decibels ,(NOTE Brookhaven Town Law is 55 Decibels after dark.) How long has this Law been on the Books???
David Kennedy December 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM
As I have previously stated, I do believe master planning could avoid these types of issues in the future and was one of my suggestions in solving this problem and why I write about it here. Not obsessed, just an idea who's time I believe has come. Not sure how long the 70 decibel law on books, but I do advocate for a special entertainment license, which is something that currently doesn't exist. Again, besides saying what "can't" happen, what are your sugestions about what can happen to solve this? Any positive thoughts?
Patchogue Snoop December 27, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Major Tom Wrote: Show me one village that doesn't have a ton of places that serve alcohol? Port jeff , Huntington, and Babylon all have a Ton of bars and restaraunts that serve alcohol Response: And why didn't our Village officials learn from their mistakes and the resultant issues? Answer: These establishments are owned by a few long term "Friends of Pauli". Check out the free sewer hookups in the NYS audit. Night clubs and bars do absolutely nothing to help the merchants. These kids dont shop at night, they are drunk and BTW the stores are closed. Progress???? Think of it this way, there are probably over a thousand drunks on the road each weekend night in our Village. All so a few greedy owners can profit? Let's not mention the few who destroy peace and quite with the blaring music on the river. Is that progress too? These partiers go home to there residences out of the village.....all at our expense.
Richard Kemp January 01, 2013 at 02:19 AM
David: How about starting off with a moritorium (sp)on the creation of any new watering hole until our VOP OFFICIALS figure it out. They allowed all of this to be created and for sure not one of these establishments are going to volunteer to close their door unless all are closed.Sorry that I do not agree with your suggestion to come up with a Master Plan at this point in time,because it is over a decade too late...Were you a Trustee when the BHB was permitted???
Richard Kemp January 05, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Hey Patch: How about posting a pic of the paddy wagon displaying chains??? We all know what a polished up patrol car looks like. You also might want to post a few pics of "Night Life" in Patchogue Village Take your time while you approve anything I Post.

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