Joined by NYPD officers from the 103rd Precinct, elected officials and members of the Jamaica business community, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the creation of the “Jamaica Merchants Trespass Notice” — a new initiative that would issue a trespass notice to individuals who engage in disorderly or illegal activities in or outside shops and stores in Jamaica.
The program was created in partnership with the DA’s office, the NYPD and the business community because local businesses regularly grapple with individuals who use their stores and restaurants for illegal drug activities and other troublesome conduct, putting business owners, employees and customers in harm’s way, Katz explained.
Katz said that the program’s primary goal was to deter further disruptive behavior and that it provided an alternative to putting more people through the criminal system.
Instead, when encountering individuals engaging in illegal or rowdy acts on their property, merchants can notify the 103rd Precinct. Its responding officers will serve the offenders with a copy of the trespass notice, informing them that a repeat offense can or will result in their arrest.
“What this really does, it’s a clear communication between the store and the person who is disrupting that store’s business,” Katz said. “And just so everybody is very clear about this, this distinguishes between unwanted and disruptive behavior and criminal acts such as stealing or assault. First, there is a warning. The warning is clear — coming back is not an option.”
The program also includes training police officers on what to do when faced with disruptive behavior in a store or restaurant, teaching officers to issue a trespass warning first, putting the violator on notice.