San Francisco Night Clubs, Police Agree Changes Needed

Second Nightlife Safety Summit brings together cops, clubbers

After a year with multiple lethal incidents during nighttime festivities in the area, the area's nightclub industry and the San Francisco Police Department may be closer to compromises on how to manage the City's entertainment.

With three shootings leaving two dead and seven injured, and two fatal overdoses just this year, even supporters of San Francisco's beloved nightlife seem to admit that something should be done.

What that is, however, is still up for debate, as evidenced by Wednesday's Nightlife Safety Summit.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to disband the City's Entertainment Commission -- which in 2009 was dominated by members with ties to the industry, and to which he has appointment power for the majority of seats -- be disbanded, and permitting authority for clubs be returned to the police department.

However, Police Commander Kitt Crenshaw, representing the Entertainment Task Force, struck a conciliatory tone. "I'm here to work with you. I'm not the enemy. I'm not the war on fun."

The Entertainment Commission argues that it isn't the bad guy, and that under the City charter it doesn't have the power to unilaterally shutter problem venues.

Jackson West wonders if the incidents are statistically significant as an indication of nightclub safety, or if nightclubs are only guilty by anecdotal association.

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