Bars, police launch safety program in Breckenridge |

Bars, police launch safety program in Breckenridge

Campaign to crack down on disorderly patrons

Ashley Dickson/Summit Daily News

— An increase in fights and disorderly patrons has prompted local police to join forces with bar owners to establish the Breckenridge Safe Bar Campaign, a program designed to target the troublemakers rather than the bars.

“This is not a problem unique to Breckenridge, but with so many college-age kids, we do see a lot more alcohol-related disturbances,” Breckenridge Police Sgt. George Hughes said. “With this campaign, we are showing that we plan to take a very hard stance on inappropriate behavior, and we will hold those individuals accountable.”

Breckenridge police have seen an notable increase in rowdy behavior around the bars, and in the past two years, officers responded to 776 disturbance calls and 992 reported fights, most fueled by alcohol.

“We knew this was a problem we couldn’t handle alone, and we wanted to work with bar owners so that we are all on the same page,” Hughes said. “Together, we developed a plan of how we all could respond better to these situations.”

The first step was education, and bar workers throughout town were offered a training session in early November to address disorderly patrons, the use of fake IDs and what steps to take when a fight breaks out.

“The police really did a great job with the training,” said Mark Burke, who owns Burke & Riley’s Irish Pub and the Liquid Lounge. “It was a real eye-opener for the staff to learn how to watch out for situations before they begin.”

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