Security class builds bond between police, taverns
To find out more
Anyone interested in the tavern safety class should call Janesville police Sgt. Brian Donohoue or Lt. John Olsen at (608) 755-3100.
JANESVILLE Bill Salmon was so impressed with the Janesville Police Department's tavern security class he requested it be taught to his entire staff.
Salmon, the security manager at Quotes Bar & Grill, was one of nine people from four bars or restaurants who attended the class Tuesday at the Rock County Job Center. Employees from The Looking Glass, Jumbo's Pub and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers also attended the class.
The Janesville Police Department tries to teach the class twice a year and will offer it to bars individually upon request, said Sgt. Brian Donohoue, who teaches the class.
The class is offered to help bar owners make their businesses safer, he said. The class also builds the relationship between the police department and taverns.
Problems between bar owners and police have existed recently, including when police said they saw or received complaints about crowds, violent behavior and underage drinking at Corvina's bar downtown.
The bar owner said the bar was unfairly targeted because of her clientele, which included many black people. Police denied those allegations, saying they target behavior, not skin color.
Corvina's later closed.
The tavern safety class aims to solve those conflicts.
"We want the establishments to succeed," Donohoue said. "If we can do anything to make it a safer environment and a more welcoming environment, it's best for the city."
During the class, Donohoue emphasized the importance of bouncers and police working together. A video was shown about bar security.
Donohoue offered additional tips about how to approach a heated situation, how to recognize a potential fight and how to handle a robbery.
He also told the class not to touch patrons when breaking up fights or throwing people out.
"Call us in," Donohoue said. "We will be glad to escort them off your property."
Bar staff also should greet people when they enter the business, he said. It tells the customer they have been identified and it could deter bad behavior.
"Always, always, always make that greeting," Donohoue said.
After the class, Zack Brunsell, a bouncer at Quotes, said he learned a lot, particularly about solving conflicts and greeting customers.
"You can kind of let them know that we're keeping an eye on them," Brunsell said, adding he is more likely to call police after attending the class.