Pat-downs to be moved inside at Oceanfront bars

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-22 06:41:55-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - David Livingston has a sliver of pavement to do security pat-downs. They're something he thinks is vital to the safety of his bar, The Cave.

"The ordinance doesn`t say you have to do it inside, it says you can`t do it on city property," he told NewsChannel 3.

Police are asking bar owners to stop doing pat-downs on city property and move them inside.

But Livingston says that's not safe for his customers.

"You want to keep any problems outside the building before they become a problem. I think that`s the whole idea for security," he added.

In a meeting yesterday, top Virginia Beach police officials met with business owners to discuss ways they can work together to prevent what happened last year -- an out of control beach weekend when thousands of young people stormed the Oceanfront.

Officers say it's a turn-off to tourists to see pat-downs on city sidewalks.

It's something Peabody's night club owner, Brandon Ramsey agrees with.

"I don`t think you should do something like that on the city sidewalks. I don`t think that looks appropriate, they should do that inside the business," Ramsey said.

But Livingston says, why is tourism the focus?

"I don`t think it`s as much safety as it is dealing with tourism and the perception of people coming through town. That`s the way the city operates though. I don`t get upset with it, I just don`t like it," he says.

Police are also asking bars to change their rope lines, saying they shouldn't extend more than three feet onto city property to avoid large crowds on the sidewalks.

"I gotta move my line in a foot OK. That`s not big a deal of course it might mean my line may go down twenty feet farther," Livingston told NewsChannel 3.

Livingston says Oceanfront bar owners got a letter from police about two weeks ago, asking them to make these changes. So far, he says he hasn't any officer come and enforce them.

Police say they're just suggestions that they hope business owners will agree to.