Last call could come a lot earlier for dancers and patrons at strip clubs on The Block in Baltimore, as police and politicians are trying to force a 10 p.m. closing time in the adult entertainment district in an effort to curb crime.
Senate President Bill Ferguson, whose district includes The Block, introduced a state bill mandating the early closing time.
“This is not a step we took lightly,” Ferguson said. “We know that there’s controversy around the licensing and hours regulations, but we’ve got to stop the violence.”
Ferguson and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said The Block, a stretch of East Baltimore Street downtown that includes strip clubs, other adult-oriented businesses and carryout restaurants near the Baltimore Police Department headquarters, has seen an increase in violent crime and calls to police, leaving other parts of the city’s central police district with fewer officers.
Harrison said in a statement Thursday that the early closing time is necessary because violence “within and resulting” from clubs on The Block has “drastically increased in recent months.”
Harrison said that police had 831 calls for service to The Block in 2021, including eight shootings with 11 victims. He did not say how many of those incidents occurred after 10 p.m. Continue Reading