NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Newark is trying to make late-night snack runs safer.
The City Council approved a measure Thursday requiring fast food restaurants to post armed guards after 9 p.m. till closing.
The ordinance comes six weeks after off-duty police officer William Johnson, 45, was shot to death while waiting to buy a slice at Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza on Lyons Avenue.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Is Fried Chicken Worth The Risk?
A 21-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were also injured in the drive-by shooting.
Councilman Ras Baraka says the late-night eateries provide security for themselves – in the form of bulletproof glass and cameras – but not for customers.
Said Yousa, manager of Royal Chicken and Pizza on South Orange Avenue, tells 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg the bulletproof glass is the only thing keeping him alive.
“This place is very tough, this place should get more security and more police officers around,” Yousa said. “The people who work here are not safe here.”
A customer who occasionally stops in around 4 a.m. for a bean pie said on some nights, all-hours eateries are powder kegs ready to explode.
“You have Crips, and you’re going to have Bloods, and you’re going to have regular citizens that come to get something to eat at late-night,” he said. “What do you think is going to happen when the crowds mix? It’s going to be a problem. There’s going to be a lot of gang violence and the average person is going to be caught in the middle of it.”
Joey Shore, an employee at Royal Chicken and Pizza, said its scary working late at night and has seen rowdy drunkards come to blows, though, luckily, no one has pulled a gun.
Shore believes only uniformed police officers will deter violent crime.
“Cops should be out here doing their job,” Shore said. “As long as a cop is here, I’m safe, if a cop’s not here, I’m not safe, no matter what.”
Yousa said the new ordinance may put him out of a job, fearing the owner would not be able to afford overnight security and would be forced to close up shop early.
The ordinance will affect eateries that cater to fewer than 20 people; it will not apply to larger, sit-down restaurants.
Do you think having an armed security guard is enough to protect customers and employees? Let us know below…