Extra security at Northbeach costs town $6,000 a weekend

Town ordinance states town can recoup unbudgeted costs from businesses
July 8, 2019

Extra security at Northbeach is costing the Town of Dewey Beach $6,000 a weekend, Town Manager Scott Koenig said.

Koenig said the town’s operating budget includes some overtime, extra duty and special duty salary expenses, so some costs were unbudgeted. He said he was unable to break down budgeted vs. unbudgeted expenses on a week-to-week basis.  

Koenig said the town will pay to station additional police officers from neighboring towns at Northbeach and throughout the town for the foreseeable future. He said they will assess the need for extra police after each weekend.

With three weekends of extra police - June 22-23, 29-30 and projected July 6-7, the town has paid an estimated $18,000 in security, so far, based on Koenig’s estimate. 

In July 2016, Dewey commissioners passed an ordinance that gives the town manager the ability to assess a business the costs associated with extra safety resources needed because of activity at that business.

The ordinance was created, in large part, due to two police-involved incidents in the Northbeach parking lot and stated businesses could be assessed costs associated with the town arranging unbudgeted public safety resources.

Koenig has not responded to requests for comment on whether the town will recoup from Northbeach any extra costs paid by the town for extra expenses required to police the Northbeach parking lot.

While no brawls occurred at Northbeach since June 16, a state official confirmed the restaurant violated several liquor laws June 22-23. Northbeach is licensed as an eatery/restaurant. 

Wendy Hudson, communications director for Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, said the charges are civil in nature and are against the business, not the owner or employees personally.

“The only exception is the single criminal charge against the bartender for the last call violation,” Hudson said.

Hudson said said the investigating officer will forward a notice of violation to Office of the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner John Cordrey, who will hear charges against Northbeach when his office schedules the next violation hearing in Sussex County.

According to the Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner website, establishments found to be in violation may face penalties ranging from a reprimand, fine, suspension or revocation of the liquor license.

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