Local News

Mar 13, 2014 10:33 PM by Lili Tan, KSBY News

Police to patrol inside bars on St. Patrick's Day

San Luis Obispo's St. Patrick's Day celebration will come with a police presence outside and inside bars.

"People think that once they're inside a facility, they're in a safe zone. But if their behaviors are getting out of control inside, we'd like to identify that early," Capt. Christopher Staley of the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Staley says he plans to have uniformed police officers patrolling the insides of bars. His new strategy to keep intoxicated people under tighter control comes with mixed reviews from bars, with some thinking that the police presence will keep people from becoming unruly and others thinking the uniforms may make patrons uncomfortable.

In previous years, police have arrested intoxicated people for fighting and vandalism, and cited many for public urination and driving under the influence. Staley says the citations have declined due to measures taken by the city to make portable toilets and free transportation home available. However, the number of arrests has remained steady.

"It really depends on the day of the week the event falls on," Staley said. "It's on a Monday so it's attached to a weekend, so we're not sure exactly what to expect at this point. We're planning for the worst."

The beginning of Cal Poly students' finals week coincides with St. Patrick's Day this year. Many downtown bars are having pre-holiday celebrations starting on Saturday.

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