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Public safety team encouraged after positive bar patrol

Red Deer’s specialized law enforcement team found no minors, but some safety infractions, after patrolling through 13 drinking establishments in the city on Friday.

The Public Safety Compliance Team — made up of RCMP, Red Deer Emergency Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s Red Deer branch, and City of Red Deer’s Inspection and Licensing Department — checked to see how safe the bar scene was.

The team works with bar owners and managers so they comply, and if they don’t they would face violations or charges. It checks on clubs for overserving of alcohol, exceeding occupancy limits, fire code violations and any violence.

Cpl. Sarah Knelsen, supervisor of the community response unit and in charge of the RCMP part of the compliance team, said the team seems to be making inroads since it was formed.

“We didn’t have any minors in the bar and the capacities weren’t over,” said Knelsen.

Knelsen said this is the second time in the year where the team has gone out. She said it seems to be working because RCMP found no infractions and laid no charges

“Our ultimate goal is to make it safe for everybody and to have no charges laid at the end of the night.”

The evening saw between three to five RCMP officers, two personnel from Red Deer Emergency Services, two from Liquor and Gaming, and two from Alberta Health Services enter drinking establishments.

Fire marshall Dale Kelly said that some charges will be laid under the Safety Codes Act to four different operators. This will involve six different counts. Names were withheld because charges hadn’t yet been laid.

“The biggest issue was the blocked and obstructed exits,” said Kelly.

Kelly said for the most part, things appeared to be very well run.

Brent Harrington, inspections manager for the Red Deer region of the liquor and gaming commission, said that staff didn’t find any violations under the Gaming and Liquor Act or Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

Harrington said it’s a good sign.

“The primary focus of the team is to go out there and work with our licensees as well.”

Garth Gosselin, supervisor of environmental public health for the Central zone of Alberta Health Services, said that Friday night’s exercise was worthwhile. He said it was useful for he and another inspector to partner with other law enforcement officers to do the check.

“We noticed some food handling issues at a few locations, some troubles with dishwashing at a couple of locations and we did close down a couple of hotdog carts (outside),” said Gosselin.

“The Best Hot Dogs-Unit 1” operated by Ioan & Cornelia Moca was shut down under orders of the Public Health Act. Richard De Castro’s Kubie King hot dog unit was shut down.

The team’s first organized walk-through happened on Aug. 22 at the Tequila Nightclub where it was found the bar had 12 minors in the drinking establishment. A head count done by two members of the Red Deer Emergency Services determined there were about 225 people in the business, which is only permitted 100.

The City of Red Deer intended to revoke Tequila’s business licence, but operators appealed. Red Deer Appeal and Review Board has not yet released its decision.



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