Proposed legislation would require bouncers to undergo training

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Willner introduces a law.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – On the second anniversary of the death of a voter after an altercation with a bouncer at Nowhere Bar in Louisville, State Rep. Lisa Willner on Wednesday introduced legislation to strengthen training and other safe employment standards for those hired to provide security in bars and nightclubs.

If passed by the General Assembly, his bill would be called “Christopher’s Law”, in honor of Christopher McKinney.

“Christopher’s tragic death on January 5, 2020 should never have happened, and the events of that day have exposed glaring deficiencies in state law with respect to the proper oversight of those who serve as bouncers,” Willner of Louisville said. “I began working with his loved ones just months after his death to find the best way to fill those gaps. Our legislation received bipartisan support last year from several of my fellow House members, and we hope that the current legislative session will be the moment when Christopher’s law becomes a reality.

Nicholas Clark, Christopher’s husband of just three months, said: “The purpose of Christopher’s Law is to improve the safety of bar patrons from unnecessary violence by bouncers/security in bars. bars and nightclubs. Passing Christopher’s Law will save lives, while benefiting the livelihoods, reputation and safety of bars and nightclubs. I am proud to work with Rep. Willner on this critically important issue and in honor of my husband.

Clark noted that there are currently no educational requirements for those who serve as bouncers, and many bars and nightclubs are hiring by word of mouth or through social media. “Those who serve in the military or as law enforcement officers spend hours learning how to keep us safe, and so should those who are hired to provide security in a dominated environment. by alcohol,” he said. “They need to know how to defuse situations, including through interpersonal communication, and how to properly handle those who pose a threat to others or themselves.”

Under Rep. Willner’s legislation, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) would prepare a standardized bouncer application form, which would ask for prior experience — including incidents resulting in a customer’s serious injury — and disclosure. optional criminal history of the applicant.

All businesses that hire a bouncer would be required to use the form and file a report with ABC if a bouncer inflicts serious injury on a customer. The bouncer would be off the job for at least 14 days and would have to complete a bouncer training program within six months of the incident.

The Department would develop criteria for these training programs, including a complementary program for law enforcement officers to better understand the differences between their full-time work and their off-duty work as security agent.

The legislation clarifies that the law enforcement agency would not be liable for acts committed by its employee while working as a bouncer, and the bouncer could not wear any equipment or materials provided by the agency. responsible for law enforcement.

ABC would also develop a bouncer incident report log, to record incidents of bouncer misconduct resulting in serious injury to a patron. Beyond its use to check a bouncer’s record, the log would otherwise be confidential.

Another provision of his bill is that bouncers would not be allowed to consume alcohol or illegal substances while working.

Rep. Willner’s bill would not apply to those who work as hired security guards at places such as theaters, stadiums and arenas. It will be considered during the 2022 legislative session, which started yesterday and will end in mid-April.


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