Video: Hours to Change at Some Columbus Convenience Stores
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Some Columbus convenience stores will be open fewer hours starting next month, after city leaders approved an ordinance, Tuesday.
The ordinance – which goes into effect October 6 – limits the hours some stores can stay open.
The move comes after some residents voiced concern over people loitering near the stores at night, adding to crime.
In the ordinance, certain stores selling beer and light wine in family residential areas will have to close at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Those against the change say the new hours won’t help much in deterring crime.
Columbus police say it’s a quality of life issue.
“We don’t want just some of the traffic in the different areas at all hours of the night,” said Asst. Chief Tony McCoy. “Some people in the areas have to go to work in the morning. If you’ve got a lot of foot traffic, and a lot of people out talking late at night, or in the wee hours of the morning, that disturbs those neighbors.”
“There’s crime all over the city. It’s not just at the store, so I don’t think that’s fair,” said Michael Thomas, a cook at Amen Grocery. “From an economic standpoint, it’s going to knock a substantial hole in the store owner’s pocket. It’s going to be bad for revenue in the neighborhood, as well as the city.”
Some convenience store employees tell WCBI a lot of people spend money at their stores later at night.
They say instead of changing the store hours, police officers should have a more personal relationship with store owners and residents.