LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. – (WCBI) Lowndes County may require nightclubs to lock their doors by 1 a.m. in an effort to cut down on late-night violence and safety hazards for deputies.
Sheriff Mike Arledge and several deputies who must deal with the frequent late-night calls told supervisors today they need help, especially when bars close in Columbus and hundreds of people head to the clubs in the county which face far fewer restrictions. They say they’ve answered 40 calls at one club alone. With only five deputies patrolling the county overnight, they often find themselves out numbered by the hundreds when they respond to fight and shooting calls. And for most of the clubs, it’s all about making money.
“When the clubs close in the city, they run out there and these owners shove them in at $10 head in the door. They’re already drunk and liquored up and then when they get there, 30 minutes after they are there you can … 40 calls to 911 on file where they call and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got shots fired or we’ve got a fight in the parking lot,’ because they want us to come do their dirty work and get them out of there since they’ve already got their money,” says Lt. Steve Hatcher.
In addition to early closing hours, the new rules could include permits and tighter inspections for safety codes and occupancy limits.