Hattiesburg City Council may create tougher rules for nightclubs

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A nightclub ordinance was back on the table for the Hattiesburg city council's work session Monday afternoon. President of the city council Kim Bradley says the changes of the ordinance stem from the shooting of three Southern Miss players in the fall of 2010. Bradley says the city needs to do a better job of holding nightclub owners responsible for creating a safe environment.

"We are not going to allow you to create an environment that is unsafe for the citizens," said Hattiesburg City Council President, Kim Bradley.

"I think we had a situation there where you had something just too big to be managed," said Bradley.

Too many patrons and not enough security. That is a problem Bradley hopes the council will solve. Bradley added that some of the rules which will be put in place were established by the Bankruptcy court when they allowed the Hunt club to re-open.

"The security being properly trained and certified, measures of how they are going to close the club down," said Bradley.

The existing ordinance in addition to the changes will help the city get a handle on night life according to Bradley.

"The police department has the authority to go in and walk through, search through the code enforcement for the number of people that are in the establishment the fire department," said Bradley.

Bradley says the additions are not arbitrary, club owners have been in on the talks about the recommendations with the Mayor's committee, " Town Gown" , and there was one establishment added to the discussions.

"And with the Convention Commission too they would not be exempt either. They have a big venue that they rent out also. The Convention Center. So, everybody's got to follow these rules," said Bradley.

Bradley says the changes to the ordinance will show the city will have zero tolerance from now on.

"We are going to walk softly but carry a big stick. They have to be held responsible and that is something I don't believe we have done very well," said Bradley.