By consensus, at its Jan. 5 work session, the Greensboro City Council agreed to move forward with an ordinance to require bars and restaurants to meet the city’s security requirements after violent criminal activity takes place on their premises.
The ordinance is the brainchild of Mayor Nancy Vaughan, as a response to the increase in violent crime in 2020, including setting a new record with 61 homicides. The previous record set in 2019 was 45 homicides.
According to Vaughan, out of the 61 homicides in 2020, four occurred at places that serve alcohol and would therefore be affected by her proposed ordinance.
However, Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter noted that of those four homicides at places that serve alcohol, “one of those got shot at a different place and came on to the property and one was when a business was closed. We’ve got 59 other homicides we need to be dealing with.”
Vaughan said the proposed ordinance would not just be triggered by homicides but also by aggravated assaults, but that the Greensboro Police Department did not have the data on aggravated assaults at businesses that serve alcohol for consumption. However, last week Vaughan sent councilmembers information about the ordinance she is proposing and it included a chart from the Greensboro Police Department (GDP) that listed the number of aggravated assaults at “bar/nightclub” as two and homicides as three. The list is based only on data through Sept. 24, but with bars restricted to serving alcohol only outside and only until 9 p.m. because of COVID-19 restrictions, nightlife is not really hopping.
According to that data provided by the GPD, the most dangerous place to be is home. The report lists 203 aggravated assaults at residences and 16 homicides.
The second most dangerous place according to the GPD data is “highway/road/alley/street/sidewalk,” where there were 95 aggravated assaults and 10 homicides.
If aggravated assaults are the concern, perhaps more security is needed at convenience stores where there were nine aggravated assaults and one homicide.
Vaughan said that they were expanding the definition of where the ordinance would apply since, because of the COVID-19 restrictions, some bars had started serving food so they could qualify as restaurants. According to Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders, bars cannot serve alcohol inside their establishments, but restaurants can.
The GPD reported five aggravated assaults at restaurants and no homicides.
Abuzuaiter said that considering the extreme economic hardship suffered by bars and restaurants because of the COVID-19 restrictions, she would be hesitant to place an additional burden on them.
Abuzuaiter also said that, as the only member of the City Council who has ever had an ABC license, the requirements to obtain and keep a license were stringent and she questioned whether more restrictions on those businesses were necessary.
City Councilmember Justin Outling asked Assistant City Attorney Polly Sizemore, who has been working with Vaughan on the ordinance, what other cities in the state were doing.
Sizemore said that she had a search done of municipal ordinances in North Carolina to see how other cities were addressing the problem. She said, “We didn’t find any ordinances that address businesses that serve alcohol.”
Despite the data, Vaughan plans for the city staff and City Council to spend a lot of time holding “stakeholder” meetings and public hearings, crafting an ordinance to require businesses that serve alcohol that have had an aggravated assault or a homicide on their premises to be required to meet the city’s security standards before they are allowed to reopen for business.
Could this be the mayors’ plan for immediate help for GPD on homicides?
What a dumb add plan!
The mayor can be found at Fisher’s most every Friday evening, should you wish to express your opinion to her.
The Dems response to everything. MORE RESTRICTIONS!
Dead right, Alan. Lots of self-righteous priggish types love to target bars (including the dreadful Mad Mothers) since they simulaneously score points and feel smug.
Momma Gump says … “stupid is as stupid does”.
Wtf?? Is Mayor Vaughn INSANE? In what world does imposing restrictions and forcing small private businesses to spend 10s of thousands of dollars to hire private security going to reduce violence in Greensboro??
How is it she wants to hold a small business liable for violent behavior of patrons, but she herself cannot be held accountable for the skyrocketing murder rate under HER WATCH?? She should be held accountable for the riots and looting and lack of funding for GPD. Crazy is too nice a word. Mentally unstable is more like it. Her hypocrisy knows no bounds.
What a feeble attempt to place blame where there is little or no blame. This is being pushed hard by the Mayor. As was stated by City staff, they could find no other cities that were singling out bars and restaurants for more stringent requirements. Will this ordinance include country clubs and private membership only establishments, such as the Greensboro Shrine Club, that serve alcohol, but have never had one instance of a murder or assault. I’m thinking there might be some blowback from Sedgefield Country Club, and other high end restaurants. The streets of Greensboro are more dangerous than all of the bars and restaurants combined, by a long shot. Perhaps more law enforcement boots on the ground would be a better way to solve more of the problem than penalizing bars and restaurants. These establishments have taken one of the worst financial hits of all other businesses. The further cost of security and metal detection equipment is just another nail in their coffin.
Way to keep your eye on the ball Nancy!
59 homicides NOT at a bar but you want to add more restrictions on already near bankrupt small businesses.
Nancy (Pelosi) Vaughn…. bringing back the Prohibition Party 100 years later. Between her and Roy Boy Cooper, they’ll close all the bars in the state.
Without the Mayor’s twisting of the truth, two out of 61 homicides took place in bars, but 59 out on the street.
If I were walking down the street – even in East Greensboro – I would jump into the nearest bar for safety!
Since the homicide of Marcus Smith was on premises of Performance Arts Boondoggle at City supported event selling alcohol will the city be required to supply additional security? Carolina Theater going to be required to staff a dozen paid security every show? THIS IS TO SQUELCH COMPETITION FOR Tanger center. They must see those bills coming due without a year of revenue just like the businesses our Mandate Mayor is trying to decimate. Egregious and pointless. Try actually giving our chief the funding and staffing needed instead of “stakeholder meetings” with unamed Temperance party members. When can we all get vaccines and have in person meetings? The restaurant, bar, music industry folks need a real voice.
Sigh. Bars, joints, whatever you may call them; pay property taxes like everyone else (even the city council). They are entitled to polices services just like anyone else without paying extra. That includes the influence peddlers at City Hall.
What zip code did these murders take place?Get the police dept to full strength ($) and flood the areas with police. Catch convict and jail the the murders . Society will be better and Greensboro will be a better safer place.
You might consider imposing a fee on all citizens living in the high crime zip codes. That would’t be any different than your proposal for bars and night spots.
When she’s at Fishers on Friday night Queen Nancy does not practice social distance as she preaches what a hypocrite
Maybe when all the young people start to move away from greensboro because they have no place to go, to eat or socialize the demwits might wake up. Not!!
Malaprop: “moving forward”.
Is there any wonder why real companies don’t relocate to Greensboro!!!!! Isn’t it about time for a mayoral election???Lets have a big rollout for the Queen .Then again we have those Dems that vote for incompetence when they see them.