Scottsdale City Council passes sweeping bar ordinance
The Scottsdale City Council was still deliberating on a bar safety plan at its meeting Tuesday night before they were scheduled to take a vote. (Source: CBS 5 News)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -
The Scottsdale City Council passed an ordinance that will toughen public safety at bars and clubs.
The measure requires the city's bars and clubs to beef up their security.
The ordinance passed on a 5 to 2 vote late Tuesday night.
For anyone having a night out on the town, Leigh Adams, manager of the Scottsdale bar Coach House, said being carefree is the goal for any patron.
"They don't have to worry about coming to a place where something might happen, or they might get involved in a fight," she said.
The strict - and what some have called overreaching - security, maintenance and operations plan is squarely aimed at giving bargoers that piece of mind.
"I think it's a good thing," Adams said.
That SMO, or public safety plan, as it's commonly referred, is the direct result of the January murder of Tyrice Thompson. The bouncer was stabbed five times while trying to break up a fight outside the Martini Ranch.
The plan calls for bar owners to submit a safety plan to the chief of police.
Establishments will have to staff one security guard for every 50 people. In the event of an incident with a weapon, the business is required to hire at least two off-duty police officers, in addition to the bar's security personnel for three months. And the club's security personnel has to complete training provided by the city.
"It'll give our door staff a better understanding of how to handle different kinds of situations," Adams said.
But in July, when the ordinance was first proposed, CBS 5 spoke with Nathan Martinez, owner of the Social Tap.
"Who's going to pay for the training? Is it going to be the city? The employee himself?" were some of the questions he posed when it came to the ordinance.
Still, he said he wasn't 100 percent against the ordinance.
"They're only trying to protect the people and they're trying to help, but I believe they're going about it the wrong way," he added.
Adams said the city had to do something to ensure downtown remains safe. And for that, bars like her's should bear some responsibility.
"Keep a safe bar, a safe environment for people to come and party," she said.
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