Liquor Dealers spokeswoman Ricci Larsen talked with Police Chief Mike Broahead, in foreground, during today’s meeting. (Ernie Over photo)
(Riverton, Wyo.) – Liquor dealers in Riverton told the Fremont County Prevention Management Organization this afternoon that they aren’t very interested in implementing a check list accountability system for the city to review when their licenses come up for renewal.
Eight liquor dealers attended the meeting and presented a 13-point response to why they are not willing to consent to any kind of monitoring by an outside group, good or bad, Liquor Dealers Association spokeswoman Ricci Larsen from the Time Out Lounge said.
The group, however, did agree, informally, that they would be more willing to contact the Riveton Police early on if an altercation breaks out in their respective establishments if it is not held against them. Currently, most liquor establishments don’t call until a full-fledged fight breaks out. Police Chief Mike Broadhead said he’d like the establishments to call as soon as bar or establishment staff notice a problem might be developing.
“You are too busy, we don’t want to call you on every squabble,” Larsen said. Cedar Bar owner June Hurtado said most problems at her bar “are settled in house. If it gets out of hand, then we’ll call police. “People feel their privacy is invaded if police come in. They are there to relax. You walking through invades the customer’s rights, in their mind,” she said.
“If you run someone out of your bar where does he go?” Broadhead asked rhetorically.”To the next bar. And then if he/she gets in trouble there, they go to another bar. We’d like to know about them from the first instance because this person is likely to end up in a fight or worse later in the night. If we know they are going from place to place we can intervene earlier,” he said. “What we are trying to avoid is finding people beat up and dumped on the sidewalk. It’s in the interest of public safety, I’d rather we be involved earlier than later.”
“If it’s not a black mark against us, we’d be more willing to report,” Larsen said.
“I made it clear at the city council meeting when this issue came up that police calls to an establishment should not count against them,” he said. The chief said if an establishment is being proactive, that’s in their favor.
Bob Woodward said he didn’t think a new law (or city ordinance) should be required.
Broadhead, however, said a city ordinance would give the establishment cover. “You can tell your patrons you have to follow the law and report the incidents. To keep your regular patrons happy, you can hide behind that if you need to.”