Safety in nightclubs becomes priority

While a nightclub may be known as a place for late social gatherings, it can also be a death trap with fights and shootouts at its core.

For those who have visited one of Tallahassee’s many nightclubs, music, drinks and fights are to be expected.

Nightclub violence numbers are increasingly high, resulting in higher prices for patrons, putting a pinch in owner’s pockets.

Club owners have been forced to hire more security not only to monitor underage drinking and the use of illegal substances, but also to control those who get a little too rowdy.

Many can’t forget about the numerous Leon County Police officers who lurk in parking lots.

Michael Spence, a 21-year-old political science student from Miami, said club violence depends heavily on where you choose to party. Spence said Chubby’s, a local nightclub, has the best security in the area.

“As soon as something pops off, [the security at Chubby’s is] on top of it and it’s over,” Spence said.

Although Spence appreciates their quick response, he doesn’t like it when security is too aggressive and tries to portray some type of “super cop” image.

Melcyn Ramos, a member of Chubby’s security enforcements, has been with the nightclub for about a year and described his job as simply keeping the peace.

Although Ramos was given general training on restraining techniques, he said club security isn’t always respected and that’s the reason for their aggressiveness in addition to the presence of local police.

“The police are our backup. They’re the added authority when disrespectful guests feel they don’t have to listen to the flashlight cops,” Ramos said.

However, enjoyment becomes secondary if patrons are trying to avoid being trampled such as the 21-year-old who died in a Chicago nightclub last February.

Security guards recommend that students familiarize themselves with the club, by locating the exits and travelling in groups.

Deanna Roberts, 20, an elementary education student from Jacksonville, said she feels frightened when things get out of hand. Even though violence doesn’t affect her club attendance, she said her safety is first.

“If a fight was to break out in one direction, I would move in the other direction,” Roberts said. “I don’t crowd around to see what’s going on. That’s how innocent people get hurt.”