More training coming for Naperville bar security

  • The Restaurant Association of Naperville will offer training for security staff members at bars and restaurants in addition to the alcoholic beverage server training the city requires.

      The Restaurant Association of Naperville will offer training for security staff members at bars and restaurants in addition to the alcoholic beverage server training the city requires. Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/24/2014 5:20 PM

Don't expect it to be dollar beer night in downtown Naperville on the "Blackout Wednesday" before Thanksgiving.

One of several new bar restrictions the city council recently approved prohibits drink prices from being cut to less than half their original cost, making such specials a thing of the past.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Another restriction relates to security training, which has been drawing some discussion lately as the Restaurant Association of Naperville plans to offer training for security personnel above what the city requires.

The restaurant association will host voluntary security training taught by a police sergeant in addition to another type of training security personnel must complete, according to a memo from Anthony Losurdo, chairman of the Restaurant Association of Naperville.

The state-certified BASSET program, which stands for Beverage Alcoholic Sellers and Servers Education Training, teaches how to verify identification cards, how to recognize when a person is intoxicated and how to handle an intoxicated customer. It was mandatory for servers at Naperville bars until the city council extended the requirement in September to also cover security employees.

Mayor George Pradel, who is also the city's liquor commissioner, said the city considered mandating training beyond the BASSET program but decided it wouldn't be worth the cost and the risk. The city is, however, encouraging restaurant operators to have their security staffers participate in classes the restaurant association will offer.

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"We don't want to train the security because there would be a lot of liability involved in that," Pradel said. "We don't want to be the Big Brother ordering them to train."

Since the city began imposing additional restrictions on bars throughout Naperville -- not just in the downtown -- council members and liquor commissioners say the night scene has calmed down a bit.

"We're seeing a great effort toward cooperation and trying to make this thing right, which is fantastic because this is not just their problem," liquor commission member Scott Wehrli said about bar owners. "It's everyone's problem."

Two events over the summer -- a fatal crash into a water-filled quarry just west of downtown and a large fight on Washington Street -- spurred actions designed to preserve safety, including restrictions on late-night entry, beer sizes and shot sales.

"I think the most important change has been the idea of not letting people in after 1 a.m." on weekends, council member Joseph McElroy said.

Bars now cannot allow anyone to enter or re-enter within one hour of closing time. They cannot serve shots one hour prior to closing, make a "last call" for shots or sell pre-poured shots. And bars cannot sell craft beers in servings larger than 24 ounces or non-craft beers larger than 22 ounces.

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