Town Commissioners Discuss Curbing Violence in Dewey Beach - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Town Commissioners Discuss Curbing Violence in Dewey Beach

(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

DEWEY BEACH, Del. -- Two recent bar fights in Dewey Beach have prompted the town's commissioners to address violence in the resort area.

Dewey's Mayor Diane Hanson says the latest after-hours scuffle went too far.

"It needs our attention because we had to bring in extra police from Lewes and Rehoboth and state police all at once," said Hanson, "and it was because of a huge fight that broke out in one of the establishments."

The fights happened late last month in the parking lots of the Ivy and North Beach bars where multiple police agencies were called to respond around 1:00 a.m.

Hanson says while it's been one of Dewey's safest summers, there's a reason to be proactive against violence.

At a special meeting, the town commissioners said they are looking into improving lighting around Dagsworthy and McKinnely avenues, where much of the violence has erupted recently.

Adding more street lighting is a matter that commissioner had discussed months ago at previous meetings ahead of the summer season.

"Adding more lighting is certainly a good, safe thing to do," said Hanson. "I know that they used special lighting that was used by DelDot for special events outside, and I think that did deter some people who might've been up to no good."

Hanson says other possible contributing factors to the recent bar fights may be attributed to the type of music being played at the bars. For example, hip-hop music may attract a different crowd than that of country-western or music from the 1980s, which is what the Ivy and North Beach managers have been asked to play instead.

But not all homeowners think there's a wave of violence happening in Dewey. Some say the crimes are isolated incidents.

"The problem is every once in a while," said Dale Cooke, "maybe once a summer, we have a little knock-down, drag-out of fight with somebody and you can't not have that. Every town has that. We don't have, percentage wise, a whole lot of it."

And that's how the commissioners want to keep it in Dewey Beach.

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