City leaders seek public feedback on safety plan after rising nightlife violence in Greensboro

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Greensboro city leaders are looking for feedback on a safety plan during a town hall on Monday addressing rising violence surrounding nightlife. It comes after months of discussion with business owners. 

The three-page draft proposal for Greensboro’s first Safety Review Board is aimed to prevent violent crime at places that stay open late and serve alcohol.

The board would have four members, a representative from the Greensboro Police Department Command Staff, Greensboro Fire Department Fire Marshals Office, Department of Neighborhood Development, and Department of Building and Inspection.

After a violent crime occurs inside or outside a business that serves alcohol the owner would be called to meet with the board within seven days. The board would give recommendations to stop the incident from happening again. 

“It seems to be going to place the burden of improving safety in Greensboro on those particular businesses as singling them out,” said Dori Goebel, a concerned Greensboro resident. “They’re not the only places crime occurs.”

City leaders said something like this is needed at places that serve alcohol. 

In April, Greensboro Police were called twice within a week to Tranquilo on S. Elm St. During one call police found four people stabbed and the other was a fight involving up to 10 people. 

On July 11th, police found two people shot, including a child, at One 17 Sofa Bar and Lounge on N. Greene St. On the same day, three people were found shot at Lucky’s Skate Shop and Lounge on Patterson St. 

Alcohol permits at all three sites were suspended or canceled.  

“I think that everyone needs to think outside of the box and stop being in the box more because your violence and the deaths in this city isn’t all stemming from that nightclub, downtown or things like that,” said Diane Davis, who lives near a nighttime entertainment venue. 

The board may make recommendations like hiring more security or buying metal detector wands to check people as they come inside. The draft states that if the recommendations aren’t followed the business could be deemed a public nuisance. 

Goebel plans to share her take on the proposal at the town hall.  

“It could potentially do more damage to them financially and require them to close and we could have more empty spaces downtown,” she said. “There’s just different ways to improve safety versus singling out businesses and putting an increased financial burden on them.” 

Davis told FOX8 time and resources are needed to prevent young people from starting a life of crime. 

“You can’t target the venues, they’re there to do their job, they’re there to make money, they’re there to entertain you,” she said. “You have mature adults that go and hang out and never have a problem, it’s the kids, give them more fun things to do.” 

The city safety town hall meeting is Monday from 3-5 p.m. at the Barber Park Event Center at 502 Barber Park Drive. A working proposal will be presented for the next phase of the safety plan.

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