Burlington is popular spot for people in town and across the region. But sometimes, the amount of people flocking to the area could mean trouble for the owners of local night clubs, bars, and even restaurants. "They really never know what happens when they allow one person into their club and that person has one or two drinks. Well, we don't know how that's going to react," said Lieutenant Shawn Burke with the Burlington Police Department.
Burlington Police Department, The Church Street Marketplace, and the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community teamed up to hold a training session to support responsibility of liquor services. About 30 liquor licensees or employees of the businesses owning a license showed up for training. "The staff of alcohol licensees tend to be young. There's in our community in particular a lot of young adults that are drinking and it comes with a certain set of challenges that people aren't necessarily prepared for as they become a bartender, wait staff or security staff," said Mariah Sanderson with the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community.
In 2010, Burlington held a similar seminar focusing on liquor licensing responsibilities. But with a lack of funding there hasn't been training since. In January the decision was made to hold training sessions twice a year with funding from the Department of Public Health. Officials say liquor licensees were the driving force for more guidance. "They indicated that they tend to turn over their staff in the spring and fall which coincides with the student population. So that's our goal is to meet their need and to keep the new employees up to speed on the training," said Burke.
The session is designed to teach practical strategies to reduce violent incidents, calls for Burlington Police Department service, underage drinking, drunk driving, and other issues of liability. "And even for those staff that have been doing this a long time, there's a lot of challenges that come with that position. So helping people remember how to manage conflict and help people not to overserve, those are good things to remind people of consistently," said Sanderson.
Providing more guidance to keep local businesses safe and their customers too. Officials say that two recent license suspensions of downtown Burlington bars this Spring we're NOT factors in planning the training session.