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Long IslandCrime

Nightclubs, city strike deal on police response

Nightclubs will be less hesitant to call the police for assistance, under a new agreement announced Thursday by city officials and representatives from the New York Nightlife Association.

"This is a watershed moment," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), "it will permanently change the relationship between the city and nightlife."

The agreement follows months of negotiations organized by Quinn in the wake of two high-profile deaths connected to clubs in the summer of 2006.

It includes 58 "best practices" for the police and nightclubs to follow in their interactions.

Especially notable is the new rule on issuing disorderly premise violations. In the past, club owners would hesitate to call the police to deal with problem customers or drug use, because such a call would often result in the owner receiving a "disorderly premise" violation.

Now such a violation cannot be issued by the responding officer, but will only come if a supervisor sees a pattern of problems.

Other changes include more security cameras, better ID scanners and more clearly defined search policies.

"No establishment that follows these guidelines need ever fear calling the police again," said Robert Bookman, chief counsel for the nightlife association.

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