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Santa Ana Will Tighten Control of Cyber Cafes

July 17, 2002|JENNIFER MENA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Santa Ana is curtailing the hours that cyber cafes can operate and requiring owners to use surveillance cameras in an effort to prevent violence.

The ordinance passed by the City Council on Monday night and effective immediately comes just weeks after Garden Grove tightened its laws regulating similar businesses that rent computers, often to young people who play computer games and chat with friends online. One young man was killed June 8 in Garden Grove after leaving a cyber cafe.

While Santa Ana's four cyber cafes have generated noise and loitering, no major crimes have been reported.

City Manager David Ream said there's "enough indication of possible problems that we wanted to get on it."

No opposition has surfaced so far among local club owners, contrary to what has occurred in Garden Grove. That city's 19 cyber cafe owners are considering legal challenges.

Garden Grove Mayor Bruce Broadwater said, "We have a right to enforce our laws. We did have a shooting here. We enforce liquor laws, laws at pool halls too."

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