Rigid nightclub controls sought

Metal detectors, security cameras and an added police presence at nightclubs are being proposed in the wake of recent shootings in San Francisco.

Last month, shootings at and around nightclubs, including the slaying of a German tourist near Union Square, prompted Mayor Gavin Newsom to direct the Police Department to devise a club-security report.

The recommendation included clubs installing security cameras and metal detectors, adding outside lighting and using identification scanners to check every patron who enters the door.

Also, the proposal seeks that club owners pay for more off-duty police officers to patrol the outside premises of clubs, where many of the recent shootings have occurred.

“Things have escalated lately,” Inspector David Falzon said. “Some of this violence is occurring because of people’s autonomy.”

If club patrons are aware that they are being taped and their identification has been scanned upon entrance, they might think twice about being violent, Falzon said.

“I think it’s very reasonable,” he said.

Club owners said they appreciate the concern, but some said there’s hysteria around the issue of club violence.

Barry Synoground, manager of DNA Lounge in the South of Market neighborhood, said he thinks most club owners are hypersensitive about making sure their venues are secure. But, even the most vigilant club owner cannot ensure a violence-free night, he said.

“If there is an event where I believe I might need a metal detector, I will choose to not book that event,” Synoground said. “How often are there assaults at the Giants games? But we don’t say, ‘Gosh, we should have metal detectors at the Giants game.’ That would be horrific PR.”

Newsom — who met with promoters at City Hall on Thursday — said he’s still digesting the new recommendations, trying to balance safety and accountability without killing the entertainment industry with onerous rules.

The mayor said while promoters seem to support security cameras, he agreed with those who say metal detectors might be going too far for San Francisco.

“I just want to be careful not to turn us into a police state,” Newsom said.

The recommendations — which must go before the Entertainment Commission — only hold club owners accountable. Newsom has pointed to “bad apple” party promoters who don’t need a permit to do business in San Francisco.

To fix that, Newsom is working with Supervisor David Chiu’s office to craft legislation that would force party promoters to register with The City.

“This legislation will strengthen our hand as we redouble our efforts to make sure that club parties in The City don’t lead to violence,” Chiu said.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

 

Police focus on club problems

Police are taking steps to curb the nightlife violence that has plagued San Francisco clubs during the past year.

As part of new efforts to increase club security, police plan to appoint a liaison from each district station who will maintain a daily report, noting all of the entertainment-related activity that has occurred within the neighborhood. That report will be forwarded to the Entertainment Commission on the following business day.

In addition, the Police Department will hold a monthly meeting with entertainment commissioners and permitting officers to discuss outstanding issues related to club security.

A club communication phone line will be established, allowing permitted venues to directly contact police officers to share real-time concerns.

“I think the clubs are as equally concerned as The City is, and I think they are realizing they have got a pretty good handle of what’s happening inside their club. The problem is what’s going on outside their club,” said David Falzon, an inspector with the San Francisco Police Department.

— Erin Sherbert

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalNightclubPoliticsviolence

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Folks wave from the side of a Muni cable car as it heads down Powell Street after cable car service returns from a 16-month COVID absence on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s cable cars return after 16-month absence

San Francisco’s cable cars are back, and they’re free for passengers to… Continue reading

Blue California often is the target of criticism by conservative media, but now is receiving critical attention from liberal writers. Pictured: The State Capitol. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Why is California now being criticized from the left?

California being what it is – a very large state with a… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read