F’ville police take back T’town

Tue, 05/19/2009 - 3:05pm
By: John Munford

Not so ‘cool’ to hang out around movie theater with heat from cops, curfew

F’ville police take back T’town

Fayetteville Police seem to have solved the problem of youths “hanging around” outside the Tinseltown movie theater at the Fayette Pavilion.

Police are crediting the work of the cinema company as well as the shopping center management group for helping address a variety of safety issues, including the loitering.

Until recently it was common to see groups of young people congregating outside the movie theater at night just “hanging out.” That was before “no loitering” signs were erected, said Fayetteville Police Maj. Kevin Gooding.

Those signs gave police the authority to write citations for loitering if necessary. Combined with the city’s juvenile curfew law, police have been able to discourage youths from congregating out front unless they are in line to buy a ticket or waiting for a ride to pick them up, Gooding said.

“They have to have a legitimate, legal purpose to be at the theater,” Gooding said.

Gooding said officers have been able to make sure that anyone congregating outside the theater is going to see a movie or waiting for a ride to pick them up.

The ultimate message being transmitted to young people is, “You can’t hang out here,” Gooding said.

Fayetteville police officers who are at Tinseltown are hired as private security paid by the movie theater, but they are allowed to issue citations and make arrests, and they are in uniform with their patrol car.

The city’s curfew law was aimed at addressing numerous instances of juveniles wandering areas in the city without adult or parental supervision, officials said when it was adopted June 5 last year.

The curfew affects juveniles and extends between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from midnight to 6 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Police are also working with the private security company that patrols the Pavilion so security officers can help police just by keeping a watchful eye out when certain crimes occur.

Previously, the security officers usually were unaware immediately after a crime had occurred, so Fayetteville police have taught the security crews to use a police scanner so they can be alerted immediately when a crime is reported, Gooding said.

That way, when a suspect’s vehicle is described, for example, the security staff can keep an eye out for it so they can tell police where the vehicle goes, Gooding said. The security officers are not to intervene in serious incidents, Gooding noted.

That initiative has already paid off as a security officer several months ago was able to help police locate a car driven by a shoplifting suspect, Gooding said.

Fayetteville officers are also doing more of what Gooding calls “walk and talks” where they park their patrol cars and walk around stores, increasing police visibility, Gooding said. Officers also continue to work additional patrols and undercover operations at the Pavilion during the holiday shopping season, he added.

Police are also encouraging stores to put video cameras in use, and officers are making good use of the cameras already in certain stores, Gooding said.

The police department has also worked with stores and the management company of the Pavilion to trim back shrubbery in some areas and remove some trees that screened storefront entrances, preventing police officers from having a clear view of the stores, Gooding said.

Another improvement made by management at the Pavilion was the addition of a speed bump at Tinseltown to slow down traffic, along with improved marking of a crosswalk, Gooding added.

All of these improvements have come about due to police working together with businesses and shopping center management firm Diversified Development, Gooding said.

Police refer to the program as the Pavilion Partnership Project, and that has had both sides working together to address various issues both for the businesses and for police, Gooding said.

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Submitted by ugadawg87 on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 10:52am.

Quite honestly, the last few times I've made it over to Tinseltown, my problem has not been with the kids "hanging out"--it's been with the police. They have been rude on occasion--much more rude than any loiterers I've encountered. I see nothing wrong with standing outside on the sidewalk--if that's really all you're doing, of course. The fact that people have stopped going to the theater seems more a problem of the patrons' than the individuals hanging out. It seems that the requirement to be considered a "thug" type is to be young and black and standing on the sidewalk. That's a societal problem first and foremost.

Honestly, I see no difference in what the police do. They sit in their squad cars, "hanging out" in a "no parking" zone. Since when does a badge mean the parking laws don't apply to you?

If they want more patrol in that shopping center, that's fine. But make the law apply to them as well. The fact that they just sit out in front of the theater tells me it's more an issue of image than reality.

Submitted by thegenie on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 8:37am.

Quite honestly my opinion is that you are way out of touch with reality. My opinion is based on your obvious lack of common sense which seemingly doesn't allow you to be able to understand the difference between crowds of young people "just hanging out" in a high crime area and the police monitoring that area. If you had similar concern regarding the crime in that area as you do an occasional police car stopped in a no parking zone, you probably wouldn't be as much of the problem as you are.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 7:17pm.

Or do you just play a clueless person on these blogs?

Submitted by ugadawg87 on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 11:04pm.

Um...this isn't really a matter of opinion. So I'm not quite sure what your point is--if there is one. The fact that I've come across a number of rude officers outside the theater blocking fire lanes is not really a matter up for debate. I mean, that IS what they have done. My only opinion is that they'd be doing more good patrolling the area rather than idling outside the theater. The fact that they idle there indicates that the theater is asking for police to sit out there and protect their image so that they don't lose patrons--that's fairly obvious. And if you're missing that, then you're pretty clueless yourself.

Honestly--I don't know why everything has to be an insult on here. Grow up for God's sake.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 7:14am.

You don't like the police sitting in front of the theater. I would contend that many do.

I apologize if you took my attempt at humor as an insult.

ftp's picture
Submitted by ftp on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 5:32am.

My wife and I ceased goin to this place when they banned concealed weapons by law abiding citizens with permits. This was the one place in town where you probably need a concealed weapon after dark.

Submitted by tikigod on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 12:16am.

This is great. Kudos to those who helped implemented this "program". But why did this take so long?! This is nothing more than common sense.

On a side note, I was coming from a friend's house up north and traveled between Point South and good 'ol Fayetteville about 1am on a Saturday night and I saw upwards of 5 police officer patrolling or pulling folks over. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This display of force should be there every single night and it shoulda been there for quite awhile.

I remember the fear of God that the PTC PD put in me when I was younger. I never considered doing anything stupid in the city. FPD seems to be taking to same tack. Thank you.

Submitted by Davids mom on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 10:23pm.

We moved to Fayetteville in 2004. We were shocked when we went to Tinseltown in the Pavilion and witnessed drug deals going down in the parking lot! My husband stated that there must be undercover officers around getting evidence. He was sure that a 'bust' would be implemented soon. Nothing. It is a sad reality of our times that police presence and activity is a must in any retail area. Naturally consumers want to go where they feel safe and secure. I congratulate Fayetteville law enforcement and retail merchants for stepping up their surveillance. I just hope it's not too late. We go where we feel safe on weekends - and being retired, take advantage of the 'senior' hours during the weekdays. (Pavilion) I don't even attempt to go to the Pavilion during the weekend. I may change now that there is better law enforcement presence. Successful malls have visible as well as undercover law enforcement. Most stores in Beverly Hills have their own security officers in their place of business. Someone appeared to criticize Camp Creek Parkway for having to have a police station on site, etc. . . but they are enjoying a better success because of visible police presence. Wise and realistic planning.

Shoebox's picture
Submitted by Shoebox on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 9:50pm.

always have to do the parenting? Does no one have control over their kids, anymore? I agree...it's too late for Tinseltown.

Submitted by NinaLynn on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 6:37pm.

I agree with some of the comments here. Glad something is being done. I hope the officers keep up the good work. My husband would rather drive to Newnan to see a movie. We had 2 incidents in one night at the movies in Tinsel Town.I think that was enough.

Submitted by Arf on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 5:52pm.

It may just be too late for this place. There were articles and letters to the editor and on the blogs of this paper over a year ago pointing out that thug types were hanging out around this theater, making uncalled comments to patrons coming in and even accosting older people on occasion.

I myself wrote to the corporate headquarters and gave specific examples of things people were afraid about and complaining about and was told in the answer that the management proactively addresses problems of this nature and that there might be a perceived problem, but not an actual one. Having been approached myself and asked gruffly if I would let a guy in the backdoor so he wouldn't have to buy a ticket and having heard many other examples from friends, I knew that there was a problem, but the company refused to address it.

Over a year later, none of my friends or family go to Tinseltown, but prefer to drive to Newnan for movies. It will take a lot of convincing for people to revisit Tinseltown - too late.

Submitted by kerrimay on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 4:41pm.

I saw a movie there in February and the PEOPLE who sat next to us thought everyone wanted to hear their conversation throughout the entire movie. I didn't think of it as a racial thing - just a one-off incident. We went to the movies again in April. The people next to us were talking so loudly that we couldn't enjoy the movie. We tried to move away but it only angered the TALKERS. Can you believe that? Ugh. I'm still not convinced it's a racial thing at this point. Last weekend we go to see a movie and that's it - it IS a racial thing and I'm sick of it. I will NEVER go back. They can have that theater for all I care. And guess what???? I'm an African American saying this. Yes, I'm seeing first hand why people say the things they do about our behavior in theaters. It's embarrassing but worse, it's a waste of money. I'll drive to Newnan to avoid it from now on. And if you think I'm making this up, go see for yourself. You'll be driving to Newnan, trust me.

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 5:58pm.

Whats you means, you aint holdins, shooo dawg.... Guess its still 1999 after all ehh.... Enjoy the show. And afterwards go to Marshalls and get you some clothes that fit Dawg, with that chainge i be just gibs ya....DEUCES.....

Submitted by Pierrot le fou on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 4:45am.

Is that your impression of a hick doing an impression of a kid at Tinseltown? If so, mission accomplished.

Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 5:14pm.

I like the idea of enforcing the law, but exactly where can kids hang out these days without being hassled by law? I know when I was a kid, we were allowed a certain amount of lead way to hang out and not be pushed around from spot to spot nightly.

The ultimate message being transmitted to young people is, “You can’t hang out here,” Gooding said.

So where can the kids go in Fayetteville to hang out? The days of hanging around McDonalds or the old Big Star shopping Center have been stopped . Not all kids who " Hang out " are looking to harm anyone or violate the law.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 11:41am.

They could pay there 10 bucks and sit down in front of a movie or they could go to the bowling alley and pay to bowl. There are plenty of places they can go if they are willing to be paying customers. As far as what there is to do after the movie other than "go home" I don't have an answer but it is not the responsibility of local businesses to baby sit the local youth.

G35 Dude's picture
Submitted by G35 Dude on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 8:32am.

How about a church group, youth group, (YMCA?) somebody's house or stay home and study. And yes I'm aware that many already do this, they are not the problem. And if the "kids" hanging out at T-Town hadn't caused all the problems that they did this would not be happening. I mean look how long it was allowed to go on as is.

As for the comment about not allowing law abiding citizens with permits to carry a gun. I never go to any business with this policy. A no carry sign says to me "Please rob us, there is no one here that can stop you". Because you know the thugs will have their guns anyway.

Submitted by MacTheKnife on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 8:26am.

The library, an old folks home, church, the park(s), their home, a friend's home, a dirt road in Brooks, a school function, all the same places we can all hang out.

Submitted by Insayn on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 9:39pm.

Were 15 year olds packing pistols or carrying dope? They do now.

Submitted by Pierrot le fou on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 4:14am.

Yes, because the average 15 year old around there carries a pistol and heroin around? You people on this site never cease to amaze me.

Submitted by Insayn on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 1:54pm.

of the 16 year old who pulled a gun on, and tried to shoot a Fayetteville officer behind that very theater.

And You must have missed the news for, oh say, the past 10 years. It is you sir who is out of touch. Lose the denial of "not my kid" and do a search of their room and cell phone. You'll be shocked I'm sure.

Submitted by ugadawg87 on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 4:32pm.

Isolated incidents do not indicate the societal majority. I'm with you that those are major events that have to be taken into account and cannot be ignored. But this is not reflective of the AVERAGE 15-16 year old. According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, the highest homicide offender rate occurs in the 18-24 age group. The 14-17 year-old age group is actually relatively low compared to the others. Just some statistics for thought.

Also, I'd say the insinuation that this commenter's teen is guilty of some wrongdoing simply because they are a teen is a serious generalization--and generalizations are very rarely accurate or good. There are plenty of teens who spend their time with a church youth group or something to that effect rather than getting in trouble...I know--I was one of them, lol.

Again, I'm not disagreeing with you--but I'm not agreeing with you either Eye-wink Just making a point.

Liferfrom65's picture
Submitted by Liferfrom65 on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 6:32pm.

They can go home ya bonehead!

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 6:35pm.

Even though they are hangin out in the parking lot trying to be Ballers, with their 20" rims.... Oh yeah i forgot they are headed back to Mom and Dads house when the nites over.... Yeah charge them with loitering too.....BLESS

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