STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) — Back in April, what was supposed to be a fun night ended in chaos after a teen was shot at a private party in Statesboro.
Since then, the city has been in discussions about how to make sure people stay safe at large-scale events, even when there is no alcohol involved.
The new ordinance is proposing some strict rules for event planners. It would require event venues without liquor licenses to allow police and firefighters to inspect the premises before it happens.
“This came about a several of our city council members, even our chief of police, expressed concerns about some of our event venues in town operating at not optimal safety levels,” said Layne Phillips, City of Statesboro Public Information Officer.
It would also require someone from the event planning company to be on site. The ordinance puts the responsibility for the behavior of participants on the event center. People hosting private parties would also have to sign a joint contract with the event center and submit it a week before the party.
“When somebody rents an event venue, it’s not held to the same standards as, say, a bar, which has to have all kinds of certifications, security guards, stuff like that,” Phillips said. “So this is just kind of a gray area and our goal in looking at a draft policy is just to kind of address some of those questions and just make sure that everyone’s operating as safely as they can.”
WSAV spoke with some event planners in Statesboro about the proposal. One told WSAV that the proposed ordinance seems like an overreach.
However, a wedding planner said she has security or police at most of her gatherings, especially if they are more than fifty people and last more than three hours.
She said if the ordinance passes she thinks it could prevent violence like what happened at the prom after-party.