News

NYC Disbands “Abusive” M.A.R.C.H. Nightlife Task Force In Favor Of New “Solution-Oriented” C.U.R.E. Program

New York City’s M.A.R.C.H. (Multi-Agency Response to Community Hotspots) task force was officially disbanded at a press conference in Brooklyn last week.

M.A.R.C.H. was speculated to have been behind multiple random police searches at venues in the borough in early 2023, according to Resident Advisor. NYC public media outlet All Arts reported that the program had been accused of conducting “SWAT-like raids” as early as 2019.

Announcing the program’s end from local Brooklyn venue, Paragon, NYC Mayor Aric Adams said M.A.R.C.H. was “the wrong way to go about it,” calling practices “abusive” and “intrusive.”

Replacing M.A.R.C.H. will be the newly launched C.U.R.E. (Coordinating a United Resolution with Establishments) initiative. The city’s newly appointed Executive Director for the Office of Nightlife, Jeffrey Garcia, will oversee the program.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said C.U.R.E. will be a “solution-oriented” approach to safety in nightlife, with enforcement as a “last resort.” 

Also speaking at the meeting, Paragon and Bossa Nova Civic Club owner John Barclay, who experienced multiple raids at his venues and worked with former Nightlife Mayor Ariel Palitz and the NYC Artist Coalition, said M.A.R.C.H.’s end is a “step in the right direction.”

M.A.R.C.H. was founded in the 1990s by then-mayor Rudy Giuliani as one of his “quality of life” policing initiatives. Though the task force was required to follow a specific set of inspection rules, such as a 30-day warning, some venues contend that these rules were neglected.

In 2017, organizations like the NYC Artist Coalition, Dance Liberation Network and Legalize Dance NYC campaigned for better communication between the M.A.R.C.H. task force and nightlife authorities.

Featured image credit: Caio Silva via Unsplash.com.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University with a passion for culture and fat basslines.

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