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City Explores Alcohol Compliance Unit to Monitor Nightlife Activity

BLOOMINGTON - Leaders are partnering with police to explore safety strategies.
BLOOMINGTON - On Friday and Saturday nights the city's downtown strip lights up with patrons looking to have a good time.

Problem is, police say often too many adult beverages wash away proper behavior.

"Bloomington is a university town and university towns have these issues,” said Chief R.T. Finney.

"Crime stats and data continue to indicate a lot of problems down there especially during the time period of 11pm and 2am in the morning,” said City Manager David Hales.

So, leaders are sparking a community conversation in hopes of building a better vision for Bloomington.

"We’re bringing back these recommendations because the council wanted to be the entity that was ultimately going to make sure there were some significant changes made,” said Hales.

That includes a proposed "alcohol compliance unit.”

Under the plan, a police sergeant would oversee nightlife operations downtown, coordinating with officers to ensure ordinances like checking ID’s are enforced.

"Have this sergeant dedicated solely to alcohol compliance issues,” Hales explained.

"Having an officer to go to that can be in touch with everyone in town is a good idea,” added Tyler Holloway.

Holloway owns Fat Jack’s bar.

He says problems associated with drinking have decreased in recent years but admits, it's not perfect.

"There’s always going to be people out there that push the limits,” said Holloway.

Other solutions include increasing liquor license fees to cover the costs of police overtime, and installing more security cameras.

"We need to educate our citizens on what the alcohol issues are,” said Chief Finney.

Pending public input, leaders hope to start making changes as early as fall.

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