Better lighting, strict enforcement of the dress code and parking lot surveillance cameras are some possible improvements coming to the Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett following a recent meeting between village officials and representatives from the nightclub.
Bartlett Police Chief Kent Williams, village attorney Bryan Mraz, village administrator Valerie Salmons and mayor Michael Airdo met with three representatives from the Cadillac Ranch on March 31 for an informal discussion following a shooting at the nightclub, 1175 W. Lake St., on Feb. 12.
Police said the shooting occurred at about 3 a.m. Statements from witnesses indicate the shooting followed an argument between two patrons.
The victim, described as a man in his early 20s, was shot in the back of the head. He was sent to the hospital in critical condition and later was upgraded to stable condition. The shooter fled the scene. Police said they have issued an arrest warrant for Reginald "Reggie" Myles, 23, of Elgin on a charge of attempted murder, but haven't been able to locate him.
Airdo said village officials asked for the meeting because of the shooting, adding it didn't occur sooner because the village had been working to first assemble information about other incidents. He said the village has also been conducting undercover surveillance.
According to information obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request to the Bartlett Police Department, there were 43 criminal and noncriminal incidents and 11 arrests at the Cadillac Ranch between Jan. 1, 2011, and Feb. 13, 2012.
Of those arrests, three were due to simple battery. Consumption of alcohol by a minor and criminal trespass to property each accounted for two arrests. Fighting, aggravated battery, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of 30 grams each accounted for one arrest.
The other incidents -- which did not include traffic-related incidents -- covered a variety of issues, from four cases of theft to one report of verbal domestic trouble.
The two parties are still working on an agreement for "significant improvements in safety," Airdo said. He expects an agreement to be made within 14 days.
"They've continued to be very cooperative," he said, adding that the representatives were aware some of the proposed improvements will be costly. "They, like the village, want to make sure the Cadillac Ranch is a safe place."
The Cadillac Ranch's general manager would not comment on the meeting and representatives from the nightclub's operator, Ala Carte Entertainment, did not return phone calls.
The village president, as the local liquor control commissioner, has the right to impose fines or penalties on the nightclub -- and even revoke the liquor license -- after a public hearing. Airdo said he didn't think a public hearing was likely because the representatives are cooperating.
Airdo would not disclose details of all the ideas the village and Cadillac Ranch representatives had, but he said the representatives were planning to make some changes before next Monday, including the placement of security guards outside the building at closing time.
The bar is the only business in the village with a Class E extended liquor license, which permits alcohol to be served from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. every day of the week. Two other places in Bartlett are allowed to stay open until 4 a.m., but only on Friday and Saturday nights.
Airdo said no decisions have been made in regards to the time the Cadillac Ranch closes. He noted, however, that earlier in the night, the patrons are older and come for country music and dancing, and as it gets later the music becomes a mix of country and top 40 and the crowd is younger.
"All of these improvements have a deterrent affect," he said, explaining that he believes people who "want to start trouble" will go to a different location if they know they will be on surveillance video.
Another possible change, he said, is additional training and education for all employees to help them spot and respond to intoxicated patrons whose behavior is unruly.
Despite the shooting, he said, overall the nightclub has been an excellent neighbor for a long time and that residents shouldn't be worried to go there.
"I believe this was an isolated incident," he said.