Bulletproof glass lines the counter of a deli in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a step closer to getting rid of bullet-proof glass in the small companies, as part of a larger effort to crack down on loitering, public urination, and possible drug sales — but it’s triggered reaction of the shopkeepers.
The city’s public Health and Human Services Committee passed a bill that makes it possible for Philadelphia the Department of Licenses and Inspections for the control of the bullet-proof barricades that are between the customers and the cash register near a lot of convenience stores, according to Fox 29.
“No setting is required for obtaining a Large Establishment license … shall build or maintain a physical barrier that requires that the people where the food for the opening of a window or other opening, or to pass the food through a window or other opening, on to the food to a customer within the establishment,” the bill states. It also calls for a larger establishments have a bathroom for customers.
Many of the hundreds of deli-owners the feeling that they are selected and to be among those who protest against the bill, according to Fox 29.
“If the glass comes down, crime will rise and there will be many dead,” Rich Kim, the owner of Broad Deli, which sells soft drinks, food and beer by the can, it said. “The most important thing is the security and public safety.”
Kim said that the glass went up after a shooting and says that it saved his mother-in-law of a knife attack.
Fox News previously reported that the bill, brought forward by Councilwoman Cindy Bass, focuses on the “stop-and-go” shops, which act more like bars than restaurants they are licensed to be, the sale of beer and shots of liquor over the counter and attract the crowd that end up becoming a public nuisance, according to the lawmakers.
Pennsylvania state law states that businesses with restaurant licenses must regularly sell food and have tables and chairs to seat 30 people. But some companies keep their seat locked up or out of reach and the grills shut down, the sales of something more than alcohol and forcing customers to walk outside.
Bass told Fox News that “more than 90 percent of the cases they break the law in terms of operating outside the requirement of their license.”
Bass said the bullet-proof glass and partitions on a number of these companies is a concern of the city health department, if a customer is choking or having an allergic reaction, a barrier should not stand in the way of safety.
She is also focused on the security concerns. “Thousands of companies are active in the same areas with no Plexiglas,” she told Fox News, with the entry of stores like Rite-Aid and hair salons. “I have never been to a bar with a Plexiglas.”
Kim also objected to the assertion that the bill stems from the nuisance complaints of officials of the city received from the constituents, and said that asking the police often were met with slow responses.
The president of the Asian American Licensed Beverage Association of Philadelphia, which represents 217 ” beer delis in the city, also said that most of the companies addressed “in the not-so-safe neighborhoods.”
A full council vote is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, according to Fox 29.