Violent incidents in Nightclub settings

This video was posted in a forum that I belong to and I thought it would be a great tool for examining violent incidents. I hate to armchair quarterback these situations, especially when all of the information is not readily available – or in this case – visible. But I think that there are basic rules in this situation that have either been broken or at the very least, ignored.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

1) Lack of access/traffic flow control – Hard to tell which part of the club this occurs in, but it seems to be either a side room or an entry foyer. Either way there is far too much foot traffic for there NOT to be a Security Staffer posted either in the room itself or in the doorway (at the right). This would alleviate bunching, overcrowding, and facilitate quick access to any trouble that occurs within the space. Control the space and you can control the issues within it or keep them from occurring. Bathrooms and hallways should always have a staffer positioned within or nearby.

2) Lack of definable uniforms – Who is security? Who is not security? Any person on staff should be in a clearly marked shirt (SECURITY) or wearing some type of uniform to designate their standing as a Staffer. Otherwise, you are just another big guy jumping into the melee.

RESPONSE

The Plus 1 Rule – Always have ONE more Staffer involve in any type of disturbance than the number of individuals involved. 1 patron ejection = 2 Security Staff, 2 people fighing = 3 Staffers, etc. There is not much manpower response to a brewing brawl in this situation. By my count, there are 2 security staffers and 6 people in a small room. Not good odds.

The initial response by the bouncer to grab the person with the bottle is technically correct, but not in this situation. Jumping into the fray without backup and without a cursory glance as to what is going on is a recipe for disaster. Once the backup arrives, the two Staffers start to remove the “aggressor” which is again technically the correct thing to do..but they do it while completely ignoring the building fight behind them. This is where things get progressively more questionable. It is hard to tell if they can’t get out the door and why they have stopped. Is there no room to move the man out the left door? Why not eject out the right door? Not enough info to work on here. At the very least, they should be removing themselves from the room until they have the manpower to take on the people fighting.

When it becomes obvious that a weapon is involved, this should (and it looks like it does) become an “All Hands” situation: every available Staffer heads to the incident area, Front Door goes into lockdown, LEOs are contacted, and the area is cleared of bystanders if possible. I work under the philosophy that if you have “lost the floor” i.e. mass brawl, jumping in actually does more damage than good. Let them fight it out while you protect any bystanders that may be in the way until things gets to a manageable point.
POST INCIDENT

Again, it is hard to tell the size and layout of this establishment, but at the very least the Bar and room where the stabbing occurred should be cleared and locked down. First Aid should be rendered immediately to the stabbing victim while other Staffers detain anyone directly involved in the fight (especially the individual with the weapon) and try to find witnesses. Then write up an Incident Report to make sure things are still fresh in your mind. Should this incident carry forward to a trial, that Incident Report will be VERY important.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

Controlling access to entry/watching the line – No more that 3-5 individuals should be allowed in the door at a time, hopefully spaced out to prevent bunching. What is the demeanor of the people in the line? Intoxicated? Aggressive? There should be a Staffer monitoring the line and the sidewalk. Doorman has ultimate say in who comes in and should not – with very few exceptions – be overridden by Management or Head of Security. He/She is the keeper of your door for a reason. And yes, they have the right to refuse service. Many clubs will not let in groups of 4+ men unless they are interspersed with women.

Weapons checks – Every individual entering should be searched for weapons, either by pat down or wand. Dress code can facilitate this: no untucked shirts or overly baggy clothing that can hide knives, guns, blackjacks, etc. This goes for women as well via bag checks.

Gear – Flashlights, radios, stab vests (depending on establishment), and uniforms should be MANDATORY for EACH member of your Security Staff. If your Staff are missing one or more of these items they are a liability and a potential target.

Communication – Does your team talk throughout the night? If there is an issue, do you communicate it to your entire staff? Is everyone on the same radio channel or do different zones have different channels? Does your team know how to properly use their radios?

Training – Do you have set policies and procedures for incidents or situations that may occur? Does your staff know these policies and procedures? Does your staff know how to handle ejections? Intoxicated or aggressive individuals? Fights? Melees? Do you train your staff in ejection, escort, and self protection techniques?

Your team should be holding end of shift debriefs that cover any incidents and individuals that caused problems. This way, you are all on the same page and know what happened throughout the night, throughout the establishment. Training and communication go a long way to keeping your Staffers from becoming statistics. Stay smart and stay SAFE.

Bouncer Fails…

Not every night that you work the Door is going to be slow and lazy. More often than not you will encounter a situation that tests your limits or forces you to act quickly and decisively. And once in a rare while you will be placed in a possibly life-threatening situation. There are a myriad of scenarios that can occur during the course of your shift, but your approach to each should be consistent, patient, and attentive.

This video clip is an excellent example of how lax attention can have a possibly deadly outcome. We could break the video down second by second, but instead we can look at the major mistakes made.

Mistake #1 – Lack of Distance

From the very beginning, the Doorman is too close to the Patron. Any Patron, regardless of state of sobriety or perceived intent, should be kept at least arm’s distance from you at all times. Many Security Staffers close the gap through what might be considered “posturing”. They think that getting up close might intimidate the person they are dealing with. In reality, this may be seen as an aggressive move and can lead to unnecessary escalation. It also puts you as a Staffer in a serious danger zone.

Creating space between you and a Patron allows you room to move, a clearer view of the Patron’s entire body, and an opening to defend yourself. It also lets the Patron know that you are not crowding them or getting into their personal space, which can help to relax them if they are getting worked up.

Mistake #2 – Busy hands

You should never have your hands occupied with anything other than what you need to do your job while talking to a Patron. Cellphones, cigarettes, cups… not acceptable. These are distractions and occupy important space – namely your hand(s). Should you have to defend yourself, grab something, or move someone, it will be very difficult with something in your hands.

The Doorman not only smokes a cigarette during this entire encounter, but he even places one hand in his pocket while smoking! How does he expect to defend himself?

Mistake #3 – Forgetting the Buddy System

While not always possible, it is HIGHLY recommended that you be in the presence of another Staffer during any encounter you have with a Patron. This not only ensures that you have physical backup should things turn ugly, but also provides you with a witness should anything go awry. There is a reason that every field of Security prefers to work with multiple Staffers: SAFETY IN NUMBERS. You should always have +1 person in relation to the situation you are dealing with. 1 Patron = 2 Staffers, 2 Patrons = 3 Staffers, etc.

When the Doorman’s “backup” finally does arrive, he spends his time dealing with another customer and not trying to figure out what is going on in the situation to his immediate left. As a matter of fact, the distraction that he causes in dealing with the 2nd Patron allows the 1st Patron to pull his knife and stab both himself and the Doorman.

Mistake #4 – Lack of Situational Awareness

You need to be aware of your surroundings, who is in them, and what they are doing AT ALL TIMES. That does not mean that you have to engage everyone and everything. But it does mean that you need to be paying attention. ALWAYS. This Doorman not only fails to keep correct distance and has his hands busy, but he TURNS AWAY from the individual he is addressing. In addition, although the main “threat” the Doorman is dealing with is directly in front of him, he turns to deal with other Patrons twice. Never turn away from an individual. Never. Especially one who is intoxicated and attempting to gain access to your establishment.

The fact that the Doorman does not want this particular Patron in the club means that he should focus his attention on the Patron. Period. While minor distractions can and will occur, the Patron in front of you is your point of focus. Ask yourself, “Why won’t he back up when asked?” “Why does this Patron have a hand in his pocket?” Simple questions that should be running through your head at all times.

Keep in mind that being Situationally Aware is NOT the same as being paranoid. If you are paying fearful attention to something that does not exist, you are being paranoid. Acknowledging what is going on around you without attaching some type of negative connotation to it is being aware.

Stay aware and stay safe.

Until next time…

Spring Break Safety Tips

A little deviation from the norm this week as we approach Spring Break across this great land of ours. This one is for the kids!

Spring Break! Ah, the memories: Sunshine, the beach, attractive guys and gals, refreshing beverages, and adventures to last a lifetime. While our Spring Break days are long over, we are realists here and know that for many students and youngsters, this is the time of year to cut loose and get a little crazy. Fortunately, most students’ Spring Break will end with happy memories. Unfortunately, some trips will contain the unhappy memories of theft, assault, and the worst-case scenarios of injury or hospitalization.

For you kids out there, how can you ensure that you will be in the “Happy Memory” group? By following some simple Spring Break Safety Tips!

1)  SIGN UP! – First and foremost, do yourself (and your parents) a favor by signing up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The STEP program enables the State Department to contact you in case of a family emergency, or to notify you of a crisis near your travel destination. They also provide a Smart Traveler iPhone App. The State Department also has a great “Students Abroad” page that is worth a look.

2)  Makin’ copies – Make copies of your passport, passport card, and itinerary. Leave a set at home with someone you trust. Keep your passport in the hotel safe (as long as it is in YOUR room and YOU set the passcode) along with your valuables.

3)  Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems – Before you depart, notify your credit card company that you are travelling to avoid getting your card shut off and to help spot unusual charges. Should you need to visit an ATM, DO NOT GO ALONE. Have one person use the ATM while the other(s) stands watch. DO NOT count your money in public or flash it around. You should only carry the money and credit cards that you need when you go out, in a hidden pocket if possible.

4)  “Pour up, drank. Head shot, drank” – Regardless of what Kendrick Lamar says, don’t fill up a swimming pool with liquor and dive in. This tip will probably elicit groans and eye rolling, but the reality is that excessive drinking impairs your judgment. And you DO NOT want to be in a foreign country or unfamiliar city while seriously impaired. If you are going to drink, designate someone to the “Sober Guide” for the day. If you each take a turn, everyone will be safe and happy. Besides, not drinking everyday will actually help you enjoy your trip even more.

In addition, should you (or a friend) feel noticeably intoxicated after a drink or two, be aware of the possibility that you have been slipped Ambien or Rohypnol (Roofies). Excessive slurring, wooziness, and difficulty standing are surefire signs that you’ve been drugged. If this is the case, notify your friends immediately and leave your location. If the symptoms worsen, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.

5)  Drinking, Sunlight, and Hot Tubs…Not a winning combination – As much as we propagate the idea of chillin’ on the beach/in the hot tub with a drink, it is actually pretty bad on your body. Drinking in the sun will not only cause you to forget things like sunscreen (lobster tan, anyone?) but will intensify the effects of alcohol and lead to increased dehydration. And drankin’ in the hot tub dilates your blood vessels and lowers your blood pressure, which can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.

Stay in the shade, wear sunscreen, put on a hat, and DRINK WATER as often as possible. Already been drinking? Stay out of the hot tub!

6)  Party Drugs – Again, we are realists here and know that the temptation – or for that matter solid plan – to do drugs may be on the agenda. Remember, the laws governing your Spring Break destination are probably VERY different from the laws in your home state/country re: illegal drug use. Some countries offer the death penalty for transport or even possession of drugs. Do yourself a favor and don’t try to buy drugs in – or try to smuggle them into – a foreign country. Better yet, don’t do the drugs at all.

7)  Go Together/Leave Together – The saying, “There is safety in numbers” exists for a reason. You instantly become a target when you are walking alone or hanging out in the club by yourself. Make sure that you are watching out for each other and that no one wanders off. Remember that “Sober Guide” idea? Implement it and travel as a group. The other benefit to operating in “group think” is that the single person’s vote can be overridden a.k.a “We are ALL leaving. NOW.”

8)  Hook it up…or don’t – Yes, everyone imagines the amazing Spring Break hook up. In reality, this can lead to catching a nasty cold, contracting something you can’t get rid of that easily, or more seriously, sexual assault. Be realistic: if you plan on hooking up over your break, stock up on protection. Or you if plan on a quick make-out session, make it clear that things are going any further. Better yet, save yourself the hassle and just hang out with your friends.

9)  Strangers in Paradise? – In regards to the hook up or even the hangout, just because you meet a “chill” group of people doesn’t mean you should abandon your friends and set off on your own. Stick with your friends or bring along someone you trust. That goes for bringing randoms back to your room as well. Don’t do it. As soon as your room becomes the “party room”  valuable things start to disappear.

10) In Case Of Emergency – 911 does not work in every country. As a matter of fact, each country has its own version. Here is the list of emergency numbers around the world: http://studentsabroad.state.gov/content/pdfs/911_ABROAD.pdf

11) Have A Good Time – In spite of what may be perceived as “doom and gloom” in this message, we want you to have a good time on Spring Break. As long as you pay attention, stick to your friends, act responsibly, and actually get a little rest, we guarantee that you will have fun. Enjoy yourselves!

Closing Time….

“You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here…”

Many of us have said it, some of us have heard it, and if you work in Nightclub Security, you’ve definitely felt it. There comes a point in the evening when people just need to GET. THE. HELL. OUT. And you just want to GET. THE. HELL. HOME. Sorry, no such luck. As a matter of fact, your job is the most dangerous and probably the busiest during the last 1 1/2 hours of the night. Let’s break it down…

MAGIC HOUR

No matter what type of nighttime entertainment establishment you  employs you, people get silly, stupid, and dangerous during the hour before last call. “Magic Hour” is when the most fights break out (usually because people are being silly and stupid), the most injuries occur, and the most intoxication sinks in. People have had all night to wind up to this last hour of craziness. This is when you need to be most alert and on top of your game, in spite of the fact that you have been going strong for the past few hours and could really use a break.

1) Observe the crowd – Now is the time to hone in on those folks who have been acting questionable. Slightly tipsy will have by this point become sloshed. Watch your intoxicated Patrons, and if possible, get  them out the door and into a cab preferably with some friends BEFORE Last Call and the push for the door. Keep an eye out for groups of men. Are they eyeballing the drunk females? Are they throwing the stink eye at other male Patrons? Now is the time to intervene. Let them know that they are being watched, either by making it blatantly obvious (standing right next to them) or by doing it in a subtle way (nodding and smiling). They will be less inclined to act like fools if they know they are being observed.

2) Staging- Get your Staff ready for the exodus towards the Exit. Position your staffers at posts that will help move traffic flow. Make sure they all have flashlights at the ready. Move your stanchions off the sidewalk and pick up any obstacles that might impede foot traffic as people try to exit.

3) Compartmentalize – If there are parts of the establishment that are empty, close them to Patrons NOW. Place a Staffer at the entrance to these areas and don’t admit anyone else. If the Patio is empty, keep it that way.

4) Give Patrons advance warning – If you are working in a smaller or quiet venue, a Staffer can circulate and let Patrons know that Last Call is approaching. Tell them how much time they have left and when you’ll have to take bottles and glasses.

LAST CALL

1) Once Last Call is announced, make sure that any Patrons not within earshot of the announcement are advised. Walk out to the Patio, Deck, and VIP lounge and make another announcement. Let people know that they have X amount of minutes before you will have to take their drinks

2) Outside Staffing – Your Doorman and Door Outs should have the sidewalk cleared and ready for exiting Patrons. It is a good idea to have a trashcan at the ready just inside the Exit Door for people to toss their bottles.

THE PUSH

At the decided upon time (usually 15 minutes before the hour) it is time to start moving people to the Exit Door. First of all, there should be a single Exit Door. Patrons should only be able to leave your establishment one way except for cases of emergency. This makes it easier for your Staff to keep an eye on exits and to guide people in one direction….OUT.

1) Narrowing the Chute – Much like cattle, intoxicated Patrons will follow the crowd. You want to make it as difficult as possible for people to back track or divert from their Exit. If you have a multiple floor establishment, start at the Top Floor and close down sequentially (3rd, 2nd, 1st floor). If your club has multiple rooms, close the outer rooms until you only have one room to work with.

2) Push from the Back – Form a line of Staffers and start edging people towards the Exit Door. You can make announcements as you do so: “Night’s over folks, thanks for coming in.” “Alright people, let’s move.” or the good old, “Time to leave, people!” As always, make sure your announcement matches the environment of your club, yeah? If necessary, use your flashlights to guide people towards the Exit.

3) Watch for bottles and glasses – People WILL try to sneak drinks out. Post someone at the Exit Door by the trashcan to intercept them. Watch for hands tucked into jackets, under shirts or behind hand bags. Take bottles and glasses and throw them away or stack them

THE SIDEWALK

1) Have AT LEAST 2 Staffers on the Sidewalk to deal with the exodus. If possible to physically “funnel” Patrons to either side of the entrance (through the use of stanchions), great. If not, have the Staffers point in the direction they wish the crowd to move. Gentle encouragement is recommended as well. “Thanks for coming folks, I need you to keep the doorway clear. Move to the side please.” Flashlights work wonders for moving people out of the way. No one likes a flashlight shining in their eyes.

2) Shift Staffers – Once your various rooms in the establishment are cleared, move spare Staff onto the street to help with traffic flow. But don’t move everyone! Make sure you have enough left to keep an eye out for interior stragglers.

CLOSE HOUSE

1) Stragglers – Double check all of your rooms, stairwells, and bathrooms. NO ONE is allowed in the bar after The Push. No girlfriends, boyfriends, parents, roommates. They can wait outside. Severely intoxicated Patrons should be dealt with by calling them a cab or calling Law Enforcement.

2) Make sure that money is NOT being counted out in the open. It should be done in a room with a lockable door. If there is no access to an office and IF all the doors in your club are locked, then pick a corner, out of sight, to count the cash. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN A STRAGGLER OR BAD GUY WILL WALK IN THROUGH AN OPEN DOOR. Don’t put your Staff at risk.

DEBRIEF AND OUT

1) Debrief – Have your Head of Security gather your Staff and talk about the night: any problems or issues, equipment malfunctions, ideas or suggestions, upcoming events, staffing problems, etc. You’d be amazed at how many things happen that no one ever hears about during the evening UNLESS YOU ASK.

2) Equipment check – Make sure all equipment has been returned and is prepped for the next shift.

3) Leave the building – IF Security leaves prior to the rest of the Staff, make sure that the doors are closed and locked behind you. Remove your “Security” shirt before you leave or cover it. I suggest that Security leaves as a group or at least in twos. The Buddy System always helps! There have been times when upset Patrons waited for Security after the closing of the bar. Have your car keys in hand and be aware of your surroundings. If you see something or someone suspicious alert the bar and Law Enforcement.

As always, be safe above all else. Until next time…

We need backup!

Everybody needs a friend. And if you work in any business that involves keeping people (including yourself) safe, a friend can be a literal lifesaver. Pilots have wingmen, soldiers have squad mates, police officers have partners, and nightclub security has other bouncers. Obviously, comparing work  in a nightclub to an experience in battle is a bit of a stretch, but it works in a pinch. If you want to have a lasting (or even brief) career in nightclub security, you need to know that there is someone on staff that will help you in your time of need.

Each position on the security staff in a nightclub needs a backup of some kind, whether it be a fellow Roamer or a Static Post watching out for you. And knowing how to provide proper backup is key.

FRONT DOOR – The majority of doormen have one basic purpose: to check IDs and keep drunks out. The Doorman’s “backup” can be anyone from the security guard posted at the head/mid point/tail of the line (Line Walker) to the bouncer working the exit lane of the club (Door Outs). Regardless of position, their duties are as follows in regards to backing up the Doorman:

1) Maintain traffic flow – Should the Doorman be involved in a long discussion with a Patron, the backup needs to make sure that the line is moving, people have IDs out prior to arriving at the door, Patrons are informed of unacceptable dress code before waiting through an entire line, and that the line is orderly. They can also walk the line to get people into place and make any announcements that the Doorman can’t (i.e. “We’re at capacity folks, there’s going to be a bit of a wait.”)

2) Physical security – Any interactions in which the Doorman is involved should be watched if possible. A large group of intoxicated men, individuals not complying with dress code, argumentative patrons; all need to be kept an eye on in order to prevent any possible confrontations or altercations.

3) Running interference – Should the Doorman not want to deal with a belligerent customer, or should a patron be ejected, it is up to the backup to step in and try to help diffuse the situation. Oftentimes, the appearance of a staffer not originally involved in the altercation/confrontation can help to draw attention away from the troublemaker’s intended target (be they another staffer or another patron)

It is important to note that the backup roles at the Front Door work both ways. Each individual (Doorman, Door Outs, Line Walker, VIP Host) should be prepared to act as backup for their co-worker should it be necessary.

ON THE FLOOR – The dynamic inside the nightclub is a bit more fluid, and as such the positional responsibilities vary between Static Posts and Roamers.

1) Roamers – Should be always be traveling in pairs in larger nightclubs. They are often the first to the scene of an altercation or incident and therefore need immediate backup. This backup is provided in the form of their roaming partner. When Roamers hear of an incident, they must first assess the situation. This can be done with a quick glance. A well trained roaming pair can have one Roamer assess, while the other calls in the details.

Upon arrival at an incident, Roamer 1 is tasked with securing the area (which depending on the circumstance can mean picking up glass, moving chairs, or clearing onlookers) while Roamer 2 deal directly with the issue at hand. Should the incident be an altercation, both Roamers (if they are not outnumbered) must do their best to separate the involved parties. If Roamer 1 is dealing with an intoxicated Patron, it is up to Roamer 2 to assess their surroundings. Does the Patron have any friends nearby that might pose a threat? Are there any individuals crowding the area (which might make extracting the Patron more difficult)? Roamer 2 also acts as the main source of communication to the rest of the Staff and the Manager, thereby leaving Roamer 1’s hands and attention free to deal with the incident.

(Please remember that Roamer 2 should always stand off to one side of the involved parties NOT directly in front of/behind the trouble makers.)

2) Static Posts – These individuals are what I like to consider the entire nightclub’s “backup”. Why? Well, they (hopefully) have a clear line of sight to EVERYTHING that is happening on the dance floor/patio/lounge. The information they are able to impart to the other staffers in the event of an incident can be essential. Static Posts are able to spot trouble before it occurs and can direct their Roamers to the source of the incident. By remaining “static” these Staffers are like a helicopter during police chases: giving information without direct interaction but with a 360 degree range of sight.

It is important, then, for Static Posts to speak clearly and succinctly when calling in any incidents, altercations, or events that need looking into. They should be able to give clear directions and descriptions to the Roamers in order to make the problem Patron or area easily identifiable.

Next time we’ll look at what a complete collapse of The Buddy System, Situational Awareness, and unnecessary Use of Force brings about (and how to about it).

Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em!

I’m sure that you are all wondering, “What does MC Hammer have to do with nightclub security?”

Absolutely nothing.

But the words “Don’t Hurt ‘Em” are important and have a lot to do with nightclub security. In the last post, I discussed Use of Force and gave an example of poorly applied Force. Today, I’ll focus on ways that being physical can be avoided, using last post’s video clip as a reference point.

More often than not, one is exposed to verbal abuse and harassment while working in a bar or nightclub. People have a few drinks and get angry, or depressed, or just plain rude. And sometimes that rudeness is direct at you!

First off, you have to realize that it is part of the job, just as much as breaking up fights, picking up glasses, or standing underneath a pounding speaker on a crowded dance floor. You can’t take the verbal abuse personally, NO MATTER WHAT THE PATRON SAYS! Second, remember that while you may be the target of this abuse, it is usually because of something or someone else. Yes, there are occasions when patron anger is directed at you, but regardless of the source of anger, your action and response is what will dictate the direction of the ensuing conversation.

So what to do if you are being harassed? Here are some solutions that will help avoid physical confrontation:

1) Use of Language – Vocal tone and body language can make the difference in any situation. Explain how the patron’s behavior is affecting their safety or the enjoyment of others, and offer a possible solution. Let the patron know what they are doing wrong (“Sir, you are trespassing right now/getting a little too close to me/that language isn’t necessary”), what they can do to remedy their actions (“Can you take a few steps back for me/clear this walkway/keep it down?”) and what will happen if they do not (“We will have to ask you to leave/we are going to be forced to call the police”).

This use of language not only lays out action and consequence, but also gives you as the bouncer a stronger legal footing should you have to resort to using some sort of physical force. The key to using language is stay calm and collected. Be respectful but FIRM in your statements. Do NOT yell. You are trying to de-escalate, not incite. Patrons must ALWAYS be treated with respect, regardless of how their behavior has been affected by alcohol.

2) Ignore the Intoxicated Patron – In a situation where you are standing with another bouncer or are in an area that gives you freedom of movement (behind a rope/on an open patio), ignoring a drunk patron can work wonders.

In last post’s video clip, the Patron is obviously aiming his anger at Bouncer #1. Bouncer #1’s best move is to ignore him. Detaching yourself from a situation can often resolve the problem immediately. The drunk isn’t getting your attention, so he’ll move on. Does this mean that you stop paying attention to the intoxicated individual? No. It means that you stop giving that individual attention. No eye contact, no verbal contact. Do not engage them. It is easy to ignore someone and keep them within your peripheral vision and scope of awareness. An intoxicated individual has a short attention span and by removing yourself from their scope of attention, you are in essence removing yourself from their brain.

3) The Buddy System – Remember needing a “buddy” during field trips in elementary school? Hopefully, you are working with a team or at least one other individual in your bar or nightclub. And this “buddy” can be indispensable when dealing with a troublemaker.

Let your partner (in the case of the video, Bouncer #2) step in if you are having problems with a patron. Many times, a drunk’s attention is easily disrupted by the appearance of an individual not involved in the initial conversation. Does this mean that Bouncer #2 should get in the patron’s face? No. But he can help to diffuse the situation by acknowledging the troublemaker and deflecting the anger aimed at Bounder #1. This also allows Bouncer #1 to reassess the situation/walk away/get more back up/call Law Enforcement.

Add these tips to your bag of tricks and give them a shot next time you are dealing with an intoxicated patron who is bent on getting your attention.

We’ll talk drunks and distraction next time. But for now…Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em!