Proposed Scottsdale law requires better security at bars

Proposed Scottsdale law requires better security at bars

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Courtesy: Linda Williams Courtesy: Linda Williams
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

Is there a way to reign in the wild bar scene in Scottsdale? The city sure hopes so.

Since January, one popular bar in downtown Scottsdale has had two stabbing incidents -- one of them fatal. Bouncer Tyrice Thompson was stabbed to death.

Will this proposed ordinance do enough to make things safer?

The challenges of the Scottsdale bar scene are well documented. While fun and wild, it has been dangerous, even deadly.

Wednesday, there was another public meeting as the city tries to craft an ordinance to ensure public safety at bars and restaurants without putting out the night life.

Security changes were prominent. All security staff is to have official training.

"Have a basic understanding of the law, de-escalation techniques, how to diffuse a situation and also crowd management," said J.P. Twist, Scottsdale Mayor's Chief of Staff.

Under the proposed ordinance, if a bar has two public safety incidents in a week, or three within a month, the bar has to hire two off-duty police officers for three months.

That was met with some complaints -- one about the cost, $35 to $50 an hour for each officer.

The other challenge, from the bar's perspective --

"People don't want to hang out at an establishment where you have police officers residing. Call me old-fashioned but people don't want to drink in front of cops," said Eric Love of The Rogue Bar.

Which is another motivator for bar owners to keep things under control and to stick to their security plan, which the ordinance lays out.

Bar owner Robert Salvato welcomes the ordinance.

"They're not looking to put us out of business, they're looking for the safety of our patrons and people who come to Scottsdale," says Salvato, or BS West.

Some people like downtown Scottsdale resident Bill Crawford think the plan is too little too late.

"Two a.m., when the bars close, all of a sudden you have a torrent of 10,000 people on the street intoxicated and it has a huge impact on downtown Scottsdale. Huge."

Crawford says that the reputation of Scottsdale has been tarnished by the violence, and he would like to see stricter requirements for bars that have incidents.

Mayor Jim Lane said at the meeting this is doable. The council won't vote on the ordinance until after summer break.

They will have one more public meeting before then.

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