Montgomery Public Safety Committee To Study Nightclub Safety Improvements

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By Catalina Trivino

After recent shootings at nightclubs, the city of Montgomery's public safety committee is considering allowing off-duty police officers to provide nightclub security -- but some city leaders say that's not a good idea.

It's the start of a conversation for public safety officials and the public safety committee to talk about improving safety at night clubs, but some city leaders if they were to add police officers at bars, that crosses a fine line on what police can or cannot do off duty.

The city of Montgomery's public safety committee proposed to have extra police officers inside clubs and bars in Montgomery for special occassions, such as a holiday or having a special guest. 

"The pushes coming from what we have seen in the past at our city with Centennial Hill [Bar & Grill], we've seen in the past, unfortunately the mansion and even before all of these there were incidents worth it where shootings have taken place in nightclubs," Said Montgomery Councilman, Jon Dow.

But Mayor Todd Strange fired back. He says he believes the committee should create security standards for local bars to follow instead. And also have security officers get certified training. He says having police officers at nightclubs could be a liability issue.

"If you don't flip the switch and you see something that's illegal and something happens then you are in harms way with the city because we did not take appropriate action," said Strange.

But Stuckey's nightclub owner, Jonathan Stuckey, says he wouldn't be opposed to having police inside his bar.

"I'm not a fan of the security companies in town just because I don't feel that people respect them and have that fear of knowing they could go to jail if they got out of line. Where is a police officer was there they know they can go to jail," Said Stuckey.

Councilman Dow has asked to do a trial run on using police officers, but public safety officials say it's too early to make that decision now. They'll continue to study the idea.
 
The Public Safety committee wants your ideas on how to increase nightclub safety. The next meeting is at City Hall March 4 at 2 p.m.

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