A couple who recently opened a business in downtown Knox is extremely frustrated with their neighbors. Frank and Tammy Guzman own Guzman’s Jewelry at 5 North Main Street, which is next door to O’s Tap. Tammy Guzman has spoken to the Knox City Council on several occasions about problems with bar patrons urinating on their front and back doors, breaking beer bottles on the sidewalk and in the alley and using drugs behind the businesses. They’ve put a locked chain link fence up behind the back door to their store but say needles, used condoms and shards of broken glass are still winding up on their property.
Knox Police responded to a report of a man exposing himself in front of the jewelry store while urinating early Saturday morning and arrested bar patron Jesus Martinez on charges of public nudity and indecent exposure.
Police Chief Clint Norem says he’s met with the owners of both businesses in an attempt to resolve the situation. He’s promised additional patrols down Main Street and through the alley, especially on weekend nights when the bar is busy, but says his officers cannot maintain a police presence there around the clock.
“We’re a small town. We have a small department. We don’t have the resources to go in and check bars,” Norem told WKVI News. Including the chief, the Knox Police Department has seven full-time officers, who are supplemented by part-time auxiliary personnel, to provide round-the-clock city coverage. Norem notes the part-timers must be certified law enforcement officers in order to work for the city.
“We can only provide what we have the resources to do,” he added.
Meanwhile Tammy Guzman says the couple’s plans to open a western shop and possibly a shoe store downtown are on hold until matters are resolved. City council members Tuesday did express a desire to have Norem attend their next meeting and answer questions. It’s scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.