Butler police will continue to patrol Main Street as they try to keep residents safe and out of trouble.
Chief Edward Card said at a recent council workshop said kids and teenagers have been loitering at the River Place townhouse complex. There have been 22 complaints of loitering in the area from Jan. 1 to Nov. 27. The last complaint was received Oct. 6.
“There are no loitering laws in New Jersey. You have the right to assemble peacefully under the First Amendment. It’s not like we can just walk up to a group of people who are out drinking coffee and say, ‘you need to leave’,” Card said. “It’s very important that we strike a balance, especially with our community with reards to enforcement and over enforcement.”
Three reported crimes were reported in the area: a car was ransacked, a purse was stolen from a store, and another vehicle was vandalized.
Card said the police have been concentrating on patrolling the street during after-school hours and in the late evening.
“The kids have been very respectful of the police who have encountered them there,” Card said. “We have been seen it where we’ve had an issue where they are really bad kids.”