Lynn Police Chief Chris Reddy, Lt. Tom Reddy, and Officers Jose Almonte and Hector Orellana appeared at a North Shore Latino Business Association-sponsored liquor license informational forum Monday at North Shore Latino Business Association (NSLBA) headquarters on Sutton Street.
NSLBA Executive Director Frances Martinez had reached out to the Lynn Police Department on behalf of members who were seeking up-to-date information about the liquor licensing process.
Lt. Reddy, who serves as the LPD’s liaison to the Licensing Commission, led 25 Latino and minority business owners and managers through a comprehensive, one-hour presentation about all phases of the liquor licensing application process and the LPD’s enforcement of the Commission’s rules and regulations. Chief Reddy and Officers Almonte and Orellana sat at the head table in the large room, taking part in the presentation and making themselves available to the assemblage during the question-and-answer period and the informal meet-and-greet session that followed Lt. Reddy’s remarks.
“There are all different levels of the liquor licensing process, the package store, beer and wine, and malt levels, for example, but there is a lot of rules and regulations and paperwork in the process, and I know that Frances [Martinez] works with groups to get that done,” said Reddy.
“But we can also help you do that. Mainly it is a function of City Hall, but we can steer you in the right direction to the resources that can help you,” continued Reddy.
The executive officer of the LPD Criminal Investigation Division, Reddy noted that it is the Lynn Police Department that is called upon to look at violations or problems that arise with the liquor licenses. “That’s when the Police Department becomes involved. Basically, we would be the ones looking to see if there was a complaint or a violation. The people that make the decision about what happens with your license, if there is a violation or a problem, is the Lynn Licensing Commission that has three members and meets twice monthly,” said Reddy. “I sit in on those meetings as an advisor, to speak on the Police Department’s point of view.
“I can tell you the Licensing Commission, as well as the Mayor and the City Council, the Chief of Police, and the Police Department want to see Lynn thrive and Lynn businesses thrive. They work very hard to make that happen. You can see during the last two years with the pandemic the leeway that the Licensing Commission is trying to give as long as you do it the right way – to put in outdoor seating, allow extra room, to allow businesses to stay open and not have to close,” said Reddy. “We want to see Lynn prosper and that starts with having great people running these bars and restaurants. Our concern is that the businesses have to be run in a safe and diligent manner.”
Martinez Pleased by Turnout
Martinez was pleased with the high turnout, notably so on a Monday night following the long Thanksgiving weekend. The spirit of cooperation between the business community and the Lynn Police was evident in the room. All participants wore face coverings throughout the program.
Martinez, whose organization has become the “go-to” resource for Latino and minority-owned businesses in the city, said her inspiration for the meeting was “to make sure everyone is on the same page.”
“As Lieutenant Reddy and Chief Reddy mentioned, we want to have businesses stay in business,” added Martinez. “We want to make sure the business owners understand the regulations and be able to have a good practice to run the business. It’s important for them to hear directly from our police department to understand that the goal for everyone is to have a successful business. Of course, there are regulations that everyone has to follow and that’s the meaning of this meeting.”
The meeting was not unprecedented, but it was historic in the sense that it was NSBLA’s first forum of this nature following the COVID-19 pandemic that severely impacted Lynn businesses.
“We had a similar meeting with the Lynn Police two years ago, but after the pandemic, this is the first one,” related Martinez. “We are excited by the great turnout. It is part of the work that the Association is doing, making sure that people get the information that is important to them. We look forward to future meetings with the Lynn Police, who are our friends.”
Encarnacion Lauds Lynn Police Department
The Lynn Police Department received praise from business owners for their participation in the forum.
“This was very informative for the business owners, especially those who have a liquor license in the city,” said Basilio Encarnacion, owner of Rincon Macorisano Restaurant, which is in the process of moving to Lewis Street. “Most of us don’t know 100 percent how to do this, so it’s great to have a good relationship with the Police in the community. That’s one way we can have a better community.”