No clear definition to define alcohol establishments as 'trouble spots' in Thomasville

No clear definition to define alcohol establishments as 'trouble spots' in Thomasville
(Source: WALB)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - City leaders are learning more about what happened at a Thomasville night spot late Sunday night into early Monday morning.

And, several shots were fired while officers were responding to the first two incidents.

Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich said anytime and anywhere police are within 100 feet of an establishment and shots are fired, it's a public safety concern.

He said his department is working with the lounge's management to find a solution.

The question of the hour, or really the week is "what is a trouble spot, how many incidents does it take to be considered one"

It was pointed out Wednesday that there is not set tangible number, and that is what's causing the controversy.

"They haven't met the threshold of a trouble spot, up until Sunday," said Rich

Rich is calling the Sunday night/Monday morning incidents at the Rendezvous Lounge an anomaly.

The police department tracks the number of times they are on the property of an alcohol establishment in the city. Whether that be for a call, door check, whatever it may be--and each time, they file a report.

"Why do we track it? We track it to identify if this place becomes a trouble spot," said Rich.

Rich said they were called out to Rendezvous Lounge seven times in the past year for crime related incidents, including fights, theft, assaults, and a shooting.

Things police consider disturbances.

Police were called out to the Applebee's five times last year for disturbances, assaults, fights, unwanted guest, no gun violence though.

According to Rich, there is no benchmark for how many disturbances it takes to be considered a trouble spot.

"It doesn't give it a benchmark, okay? It doesn't say it's 5 or 7 or 15," said Rich.

Rich said they are working with management to make sure incidents like Sunday night don't happen again.

"We try to get down into the weeds to understand why it happened, really get into the investigation," said Rich.

The police chief plans to address the council with the numbers from other businesses in the city and talk about this further at the next city council workshop.

Rich pointed out Wednesday that there are not any real bars or nightclub in the city limits because most establishments serve food.

Rendezvous is open several days a week for lunch and considered a sports bar during those hours.

At night they host different entertainment events and are considered a nightclub.

On the weekends the lounge closes at 1 a.m.

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