Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan is all in on the proposed restaurant and bar Safety Review Board.
Vaughan said, “We had plenty of input from bar, restaurant and tavern owners and I think we came up with a good compromise.”
Vaughan noted that much of violent crime in Greensboro takes place in people’s homes and she said, “We can’t pass ordinances based on what happens in people’s homes, but we do have some control over places where people are gathering together.”
The proposed Safety Review Board, according to Vaughan, doesn’t require any City Council action to establish because it doesn’t involve passing a new ordinance. But she added that if the proposed plan is brought up for a City Council vote that she has no doubt it will pass.
Vaughan said, “We used existing ordinances to put together a plan. We have ordinances in place that we haven’t been using the way we should.”
There will be no cost to bars and restaurants that don’t have a problem with violent incidents occurring in or near their premises, according to Vaughan, but those that do have violent incidents will have the Safety Review Board help them go over best practices and there may be additional costs involved in implementing them.
She said that people have a certain expectation that when they go out places will be run in a safe manner, and added, “I think we would be negligent if we didn’t work with businesses that have had issues with safety.”
Vaughan noted that Greensboro Police Chief Brian James had talked to the City Council about some of the problems caused by nightlife in Greensboro, and because other communities don’t have much in the way of nightlife, people from the area come to Greensboro and sometimes create problems.
Vaughan said that the City Council had held at least seven work sessions in the past year on safety and security issues, so this plan should not as a surprise to anyone.
Vaughan also said that the Safety Review Board would have an “ad hoc” member from the bar and restaurant industry, but how that person would be selected had not been determined.