TOWSON (WJZ) — Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. wants to give county police more authority in closing down businesses deemed “public nuisances.”

Olszewski proposed Council Bill 14-22 Monday that would allow the county’s police chief to spark a public hearing to close a business after two criminal police reports within a two-year period.

READ MORE: Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm Fire Amid Thunderstorm In Baltimore's Riverside Neighborhood

“This isn’t about shutting down businesses,” Olszewski said. “We want to make sure we can document that and, as appropriate, force them to make changes or close them if they don’t.”

Currently, it takes two convictions in a two-year period to close a business.

In a statement, police chief Melissa Hyatt said: “This updated law will make it possible for our police department to prevent additional crimes by persuading operators of establishments to make reasonable changes, and by closing those premises if the owners refuse to cooperate,” Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said in a news release. “We need this authority to effectively address the small number of establishments that repeatedly endanger public safety.”

READ MORE: Fourth Of July Fireworks Return To Baltimore's Inner Harbor

Councilman David Marks says businesses have a public safety responsibility to the community and the end goal is not to padlock businesses.

“It would help bring people to the table. We don’t wanna shut down businesses. We do want to say to the businesses who have public safety concerns, ‘You have to be part of the solution,’” Marks said. “Better security. Better lighting. When you have issues like prostitution, homicides, It’s taking some concrete steps to engage the police in the community to make things better.“

Baltimore City’s “padlock law” has been used rarely in recent years, but has been used to close gas stations where criminal activity had been frequent.

MORE NEWS: Maryland Comptroller Franchot Tests Positive For COVID-19

Paul Gessler