Portland’s Police Chief James Craig has surely seen a lot in his 28 year career as a police officer. Craig spent those years as an officer in the LAPD. Craig said in the area he worked in “that it was not uncommon to see a homicide once or twice a month, a drive-by shooting once a week or twice a week.”
That being said, I find it pretty amazing that Chief Craig would then say that he’d “never seen anything like [the Old Port on Saturday night]” Is it really that bad? I’ve seen my fair share of brawls and vomiting in the streets, but is it worse than drug pushers and gang bangers?
Chief Craig did visit the OP during it’s high season. Head down Fore St. on a chilly January and it’s pretty tame, no worse than any other congregation of drinking establishments. Chief Craig did comment that the cause of the “shocking” Old Port night scene was patrons being over-served. Since many of the bars make enough during the summer to make up for the lean winter months, it should be obvious that people are being over-served. Is there any way to regulate this? Without stepping across some pretty serious civil liberties lines it isn’t. Something tells me Mainers wont put up with the kind of bologna you have to go through to get a drink in Utah.
If people hitting the booze too hard is the problem is there an easy solution? No. Someone’s pocket will take a hit, be it taxpayers for new methods of regulating or more cops to patrol the Old Port bars or bar owners losing out on the income. Look, we all know the place can be a mess during the summer. Puke, sweat, spilled drinks, fights, break ups to make ups, you can see it all in Portland’s Old Port. Sure it’s can be a pain in the ass, but those of us that know it love it. Let’s just leave those disgusting hooch alleys alone.