The city is spending millions of dollars to remake and redesign a part of its downtown, and now New Britain officials want to make sure those hanging out in Central Park are on their best behavior.
New Britain is taking a hard stance when it comes to Central Park. It's trying to stop people from unruly and destructive behavior.
So the Hardware City is assigning a patrol officer to specifically keep tabs on the downtown area during the day.
"I think its a great idea, but I do believe we need more than one," said Hazel Lichatz, who runs Mitch's Place, which is an overstock store on Main Street right across from Central Park.
Lichatz said troublesome and intoxicated park-goers can be a problem.
"Last Friday, I believe eight ambulances came here to pick up people that had been drinking, fallen, whatever, passed out," Lichatz said.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said if people in the park are being disruptive or drunk and refuse to leave, they'll get a ticket.
"We have pretty strict loitering rules, and will look at them to see if there is anything we can do to tighten them up," Stewart said. "But what we'll do is to ask people to keep it moving."
City officials said everyone has the right to come to Central Park and enjoy it. They can't disrupt the quality of life for others.
Part of the issue is New Britain is getting set for a multimillion-dollar streetscape project that will eventually expand and redesign this very park.
"It's been an ongoing problem downtown, and I just really want to create a safe environment for visitors, employees, residents," Stewart said.
Hazel said she won't be here to see that. They're closing their store at the end of the month. She said an added police presence downtown will help those still here.
"If you want New Britain to change, that's a way to start," Hazel said.
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