Increased security required at Birmingham nightlife venues

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On any given night, a good time with friends has the potential to take a turn for the worst.

“There have been several incidents in the past that have taken place here in the city of Birmingham at our establishments,” Councilor Johnathan Austin says.

The Kevin Felder Ordinance, named after a young man who was killed at a Birmingham night club in 2009, has been in the works since then.

Under the ordinance, bars and nightclubs must have surveillance cameras rolling inside and outside during all hours of operation. After 10 pm they must have at least one security guard on duty per 150 people.

Joseph Noojin frequents bars in downtown Birmingham and in the Lakeview district.

“You’re gonna need it one day,” Noojin says. “Something bad is gonna happen at some point. I mean, obviously, you see everything that’s going on in the news, so I think as a precaution, they should have it.”

Most establishments in the Lakeview area have already taken certain precautions. The restaurant and bar, Five. is equipped for full surveillance.

“It could be a good idea,” Manager Krista Ales says, “Especially in bars, you have a lot of fights when people have been drinking, so it could come in handy.”

Ales says nothing violent has happened at Five yet, but they’re ready just in case.

Nightlife establishments have 42 days to comply with the new rules.

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