New entertainment could bring new problems

Published 5:12pm Saturday, August 10, 2013

In Saturday’s edition of the Times-Journal we wrote about the re-opening of Club Entourage, 14 months after the club’s business license was revoked following a deadly shooting that resulted in six gun shot injuries and one victim dead.

Club owner Clyde Richardson said his club will have a heightened security presence after last year’s incident that forced the club to close its doors.

We applaud Richardson for his efforts in this area but we urge him to continue his push for security at the club. When possible, he should hire more security and install security cameras and always take responsibility for those in his club and monitor their behavior.

Richardson said that he is working with the city of Selma in hopes of having police officers patrol the area around the club in Selma’s entertainment district at night, which is a big step in the right direction.

The city needs to make this call for police one of its top concerns. Richardson attempts to avoid finger pointing by avoiding a discussion on last year’s shooting, and he is technically right when he says he cannot control what happens outside the club’s walls.

However, it is now obvious that problems inside the club can move outside the club and put people who were not involved in danger. If another incident occurs at Club Entourage, Richardson understands his business license would likely be revoked again, so we encourage him to keep a close eye out for security issues.

We commend the efforts of our police force, but we hope they send a clear message by making their presence known around Club Entourage in the upcoming months.

Selma’s entertainment district is starting to attract more traffic, but the re-opening of the club may scare a few people away. A strong showing by the police in the area would reassure many Selmians that the area is safe.

In the past, Selma Chief of Police William Riley has said that it is not his department’s job to babysit the clubs at night, but the city should be prepared to pay for extra patrol units if it wants a hopping entertainment district.

A safe and entertaining district would be good for the city, but it has to be safe first. We appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in the process thus far, but we ask them to continue make sure Selma’s entertainment district is safe and enjoyable for all parties.

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