GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Eight days after the deadly shooting at a Greensboro music venue, allegedly done by a security officer, Greensboro city leaders have begun to look hard at options to better identify and keep track of security standards at nightlife and event venues.
“We will continue to be more vigilant in that area of operations for some of these businesses,” Assistant Greensboro City Manager Nathanial Davis said.
The talks were amplified after a 21-page affidavit was released by the ABC Commission that detailed the alleged failure of The Blind Tiger music venue on July 31, which included allowing unlicensed security staff to operate at their facility, one of whom was in possession of a handgun.
An attorney for The Blind Tiger has stated that the security person who allegedly shot and killed a 19-year-old during a fight was a third-party contract employee.
On Monday, FOX8 asked Paul Sherwin, the director of the state’s Private Protection Services Board, if an investigation had revealed who the third party group was and was told that the investigation is ongoing.
He did state that The Blind Tiger had no prior complaints filed against it for having hired or contracted non-licensed staff.
The PPPSB oversees the administering of licenses for security detail. Any security staff member that is armed has to be licensed through the board.
If an unarmed security person is hired by a company that has its own security staff, like a hospital, that security person has to be licensed through the state as well.
If an unarmed individual is hired by a contractor for third-party security, they do not have to be licensed through the state.
Director Sherwin said it’s up to the contractor of the business to obtain or disclose that information.
“We would hope that they would do their due diligence that who they are hiring is credential, but we don’t have any say in who they’re hiring,” he explained.
He also stated that unlicensed security detail fuels a significant amount of complaints through the state including Greensboro.
The director explained that nightclubs and bars are the most common offenders.
City of Greensboro leaders also do not have the ability to regulate security at nightclub venues.
The cities Safety Review Board has met with close to a dozen businesses which have seen safety concerns, some involving crime, since the beginning of the year.
The board outlined ways that security could be improved at those locations, but these were just suggestions.
“[The Blind Tiger] situation has brought to our attention the possibility of local ordinances that could possibly strengthen our ability to address these issues before they happen,” Davis said.
While he will not say what the ordinances would be, he did detail that it would allow the city to have more insight into making sure that the security provided matched the problem being experienced at a location.
“If armed security are at these locations, then agencies, then these businesses should be going through the NC protective agency or obtaining armed security that are licensed,” he said. “So one thing we want to begin looking at on the safety review/inspections with these nighttime establishments and nightclubs that serve alcohol are they using the right type of security.”
When asked about a timeline for when talks will fully form, Davis said he’d like to move faster.
“If we see these happenings over and over, we can’t continue to belabor our efforts to stop these events from happening,” David said.