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Nuisance Ordinance Working, Say Jackson Businesses, Police

Businesses say they already see the effects of anti-nuisance gathering ordinance
Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 26, 2024
  • Businesses say situation has improved noticeably since ordinance passed.
  • Municipal Lot 9 had been the scene of nuisance gatherings and a safety problem.
  • Police say ordinance is working as intended.
  • Video shows Municipal Lot 9, adjacent businesses, neighborhood, workers, patrons.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

It's only been a few weeks since an anti-nuisance gathering ordinance has been in place here in Jackson. Businesses tell me they are already seeing dramatic improvements.

"It's amazing to see that Jackson is actually taking this seriously," says Katti Chivington. She manages Town Bar — adjacent to Municipal Parking Lot Number 9.

In recent years, as the weather turned warm, Lot 9 became known as a scene of tailgate parties and gatherings that, she says, would escalate into disturbances and violence.

As word of violence spread, patrons were frightened and business, says Chivington, was suffering.

"The last couple of weekends — right before they passed the ordinance — were probably some of the worst ones," recalls Chivington.

WATCH THE EXTENDED INTERVIEW:

EXTENDED CHIVINGTON INTERVIEW

"I think there was about 20 shots fired one weekend. And then the next was a calmer one — there was only one shot fired, but it was continuously getting worse every single weekend, I would say."

The ordinance passed by City Council prohibits loitering and authorizes police to enforce it with fines and even jail time, spelling an end to the parking lot parties.

I reached out to Director of Police Elmer Hitt. He told me the ordinance is working as intended and no citations have been issued.

Chivington says business is recovering and people feel safe again, now that police keep the lot clear of disorderly gatherings.

She says: "If you're sitting in your car for too long, you know, they ask you, like, 'Hey, what are you doing? What's your intention? Like, let's go somewhere." You have to enter a business or you have to leave the lot."

Crazy Cowboy is another nightspot adjacent to Lot 9. Servers here also told me they note a dramatic improvement since the ordinance was passed.

Chivington says ending the gatherings was important to safeguarding improvements to the Downtown business environment.

She notes: "The work that Jackson's put in — I've seen the growth, I've seen everything, and it's amazing and I love it…and that definitely would have been detrimental to building a busy, bustling downtown where everyone feels comfortable and safe."

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