After the weekend double shooting at the intersection of Union Avenue and Jasper Street, mayor Andre Sayegh has called for the area to be designated as a hotspot business curfew zone.
Sayegh is urging the City Council to revisit a measure talked about two years ago to add Union Avenue between Redwood Avenue and Kearney Street, a three-block portion that contains Jasper Street, to the list of 18 high crime zones, where businesses, often troublesome liquor shops and chicken joints, must close at midnight.
“I want that included because it was after midnight,” said Sayegh referring to the early Sunday morning shooting at the Union-Jasper intersection, a well-known troublespot in the expansive Totowa neighborhood.
Two men, 28 and 31, were shot at the intersection at about 4:33 a.m. on Sunday. Both men were taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center to receive treatment for non-fatal gunshot injuries, according to Passaic County prosecutor Camelia Valdes
“I don’t know. I got to see the data,” said Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, when asked if he supports designating the area as a hotspot.
Union Avenue from Redwood Avenue to Kearney Street falls within the 1st Ward.
Jackson said the area requires extra attention from police. He said it’s “unfair” to punish businesses in the area for the conduct of people that establishments cannot control.
None of the businesses would have been open at 4 a.m., he said, noting the time of the double shooting incident.
One business, Boulevard Wine Spirit Liquor, has become a problem spot. It received a 12-day liquor license suspension in 2015 for selling hard liquor after the legal hour on multiple occasions.
Sayegh said he has asked police director Jerry Speziale to prepare a report to justify designating the area as a hotspot.
“I’m going to pull the data. I’m going to do this one like the last one, ” said Speziale. He plans to gather statistics on calls for service, non-fatal shootings, and other crime data. He provided a report to the governing body earlier in the month that allowed police to make a compelling case to add Main-Weiss intersection to the business curfew.
The council will take a final vote on Tuesday to designate Main-Weiss as a hotspot.
The council dropped the measure. No explanation was provided as to why the measure was never put up for a vote.