A group of Edmonton bars says violence outside their establishments is getting out of hand, and they want help from police.
"When the beat patrols are not present, the dangerous people are having their way," Anthony Greening, owner of four clubs including Ranch Roadhouse and Union Hall, told the Edmonton Police Commission Thursday night.
Greening and Chris DeCock, president of Hudson's Canadian Tap House, made the presentation as members of Responsible Industry Edmonton, which represents 40 bars and nightclubs.
The group says fights and other violence are most common when beat officers are not on duty — Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. They say that lack of enforcement is well known.
DeCock said on a recent Monday night, one of his bars refused to let in around 50 "non-desirable" people. They would not leave the parking lot and two of them got into a fight.
"And now we had to intervene, outside of our rights … endangering our people in order to ensure safety," Decock said, adding that bar security are not necessarily trained to deal with those kinds of situations.
Greening said that even when police show up, they are not properly trained to handle the situations.
"[They] wind up putting the venue, its staff and patrons at risk," he said.
Police: Not enough money
Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said the force, whose request for an extra $6.5 million last year was rejected by city council, does not have enough money to pay for beat cops every night of the week.
"We'd like to be all things to all people all the time. We just don't have the resources to do that," he told CBC News Friday.
Responsible Industry Edmonton wants police to consider creating a "violence suppression team," a 24-hour-a-day group of officers that work specifically with licensed establishments. The group says Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg have such teams.
A meeting is planned next week between club-owners and police to figure out the next step.