Night Club Security Cases

They are not open during the day. There are no children. There are few if any senior citizens. Nightclubs are where young people go late after dinner, drinking and partying. There is no way to know where the others have been, how much they have had to drink or what other things have happened before arriving at the club which could have an effect on you and who you came with.

Everyone knows that mixing alcohol and testosterone can be a recipe for confrontation and too often ends up as violence. Is it the customers fault for going if he gets hurt? Many people believe if you go you get what you deserve and you deserve what you get. Our law firm has handled many cases over decades where innocent or even belligerent but peaceful customers have been hurt. People have a legal right to be safe from violence whenever they are in a public place. Nightclubs by nature are more dangerous than Church. But this simply means the property owners and club operators have to undertake reasonable precautions commensurate with the inherent risks they foster to earn money.

Decades ago society accepted the utility of "bouncers" to protect the public. The personnel were not trained, not schooled in protective technology nor managed to promote safety. To be a bouncer you had to be tall, strong, fit, and ready to protect the interest of the nightclub. This job description may have been good enough for the 20th century but no longer is adequate to provide reasonably safe premises.

Proactive security is now the standard of care. Properly trained, managed and supervised officers can and do protect innocent nightclub patrons from foreseeable victimization. How can it be done? Just look carefully at the most successful hospitality venues in America. Hotels, casinos, and nightclubs which take a professional approach succeed at protecting their customers. How do they do it? They are successful because they are professional. Competent security mangers are the first step. Well trained licensed guards executing well planned security programs are the formula for safety. Studies done by the United States Department of Justice, leading university scholars, and industry trade groups have learned that more than 90% of communication is non-verbal. So in the high energy loud music crowded environment of the late night partiers warning signs of danger can be identified before injury or death occurs.

What are the tools? Careful admission procedures are the first line of defense. In many clubs metal detectors or pat downs are needed to keep weapons out of an inherently volatile mix of people. Failure to enforce lawful age laws, tolerating admission of openly aggressive customers before they come in and careful observation of marginal risk customers is the first line of defense. Responsible vendor policies to manage, monitor and intervene before intoxicated or substance abusing patrons cause harm are next. Many national companies undertake personnel training of security and servers to identify customers who have had too much already or who are on the threshold. MOAB, management of aggressive behaviors, is an accepted part of security science in public places drawing large crowds. Expecting irresponsible behavior by customers is responsible prevention by those profiting from party environments especially at special events like New Years Eve and other holidays, Super Bowl parties and other sporting events, and even private parties. Protective interventions before potentially dangerous customers hurt somebody are the rest of the formula for safety. When enough is enough a warning to friends or even a paid taxi ride home is a small price for a nightclub to pay to prevent a disaster on the property or to innocent people outside the club.

Security and safety is everyone's business especially those who profit from the sale of alcohol in nightclubs. The nightmares of violent crime, sexual assault and drunk driving can be prevented if the hospitality industry accepts its responsibility to undertake a professional approach to making nightclubs fun for one night not nightmares that last forever.

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