Report: Clubs Don't See Need To Change Security

December 11, 2004

Carrie Spencer of The Southern Illinoisan reports: A nightclub shooting that left four people dead, including a heavy-metal guitarist, has concert bookers and bar managers wondering whether fans will grumble less the next time they're patted down or directed through a metal detector.

Scott Stienecker, for one, thinks it will. "It'll be a whole different feeling, I bet."

Stienecker's PromoWest Productions owns two Columbus concert halls larger than the Alrosa Villa, where 25-year-old Nathan Gale gunned down "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and three others before a police officer shot him to death.

Caroline O'Toole, though, and many of her fellow managers doubt Wednesday's violence will mean any significant changes.

"I don't think you can let the actions of one lunatic affect the industry as a whole," said O'Toole, who manages The Stone Pony, famed as Bruce Springsteen's stomping ground in Asbury Park, N.J. "You can't let the nuts win."

"This is a very tragic situation, but isolated," said Mark Leddy, co-owner of Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. "Anything like this causes everyone to take a little look at what their procedures are. A bigger mistake would be an overreaction to it."

But a San Diego police officer and security consultant argued for more training for the largely unregulated job of nightclub security worker.

"They need the same type of training that police officers get," Robert Smith said. "The bouncer has no weapon and no police powers, but they still have to do the same exact job. They don't get the same training on how to read body language and how to stop someone verbally and how to calm someone down." Read more.

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