Friday, November 22, 2019

Allentown now safer place to be at night

Falley Allen Bartender Hannah Dwyer and patron Scott Martin.
By Gabrielle Kime
 and Conner Wilson 
         It’s Friday night, and you’re out with your friends in Allentown. Based on its past reputation you choose to walk in a group to ensure your safety. 
          In years past, you would run into many nefarious characters and may even witnesses a fight or two.  Although tonight you notice that everything is simply fine.
Perhaps the area isn’t as unruly as it once was. Staff at Allentown bars sure think so.

Bars in Allentown are beginning to see a change in crime in the area.  The area is no longer the chaotic place it once was.

“When I started it felt like there were fights every night and there were cops everywhere,” said Madeline Barker, who has bartended at Falley Allen, 204 Allen St., for two years. “They do their patrols but they don’t linger too often.”

In years past, Barker said police had often just parked in one area of Allen Street, but now they have switched to active car patrols around Allentown at night.  Since then, she has noticed that there hasn’t been as much violence.

There have been four reported crimes in Allentown in the month of November, according to That compares to areas such as the Elmwood Village with three reported crimes this month.

Clare Ahne, a waitress at Falley Allen, said working in Allentown is not exactly how she expected it to be.

“Even like six-seven years ago when my brother was going out, it’s getting safer,” said Ahne. 

Ahne, on greater sense of safety in Allentown at night:

“I’ve worked in this place for over five years,” said Amanda Markovich, bartender at The Alley Cat, 199 Allen St. “They’ve definitely upped the police presence.”

Markovich has noticed in the past few years that businesses have been doing their part to clean up the area and create a safer bar scene.

“The neighborhood has taken a stance,” said Markovich. “People are more involved to make it a safer place.”

Business owners and police aren’t the only ones keeping Allentown safe, residents have stepped up.  For example, an Allentown resident organized a clean-up on Allen Street just before Halloween, Markovich said. A group of residents spent Oct. 30 cleaning up trash on the street for all of the children trick-or-treating the next night.

“The police are around more,” Markovich said. “Businesses are calling them and working with the police now.”

The amount of people who disrupt customers and businesses has decreased, according to Markovich.

“There used to be a bunch of drugged-out homeless people walking into places,” said Markovich. “They must’ve moved off somewhere else.”

Hannah Dwyer, a bartender at Falley Allen, said that with the change on Allen Street, the chaos has seemingly migrated more downtown.

In past years, on Friday and Saturday nights, the bar used to be mayhem that can develop when crowds and alcohol mix, Dwyer said.

“I never walk out of here feeling unsafe,” Dwyer said.