After Deadly Shootings, Dallas Plans Crack Down on Party Promoters

City Council Members Heard Plan Monday

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The City of Dallas plans a crackdown on promoters of large gatherings after two deadly shootings at unregulated parties in the past two months.

The proposed Commercial Promoter Ordinance was detailed at the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee meeting Monday.

"We want people to have fun. We want it to be a place that’s friendly for entertainment. But, it can’t be the wild west. It just can’t," said Mayor Eric Johnson, who attended the meeting.

The new rules would require the registration of event promoters and safety plans for events with the consent of the property owner.

The push to crackdown on party promoters picked up steam a month ago when one person was killed and 16 others hurt in a shooting at an outdoor concert that police said was unauthorized and out of control.

The event was required to have a permit but no permit had been issued. Dallas police officers had served as security at the event but they left before the gunfire.

The City of Dallas and the family of those seriously injured filed two separate lawsuits against the party promoters and a church that owns the land where the event was held.

Dallas City Council Member Tennell Atkins said city enforcement of the new rules will be needed.

"When the permit is issued is there someone from city staff that goes out there and makes sure, this is ok," Atkins said.

Officials said Dallas police, code enforcement and event services workers will watch for unpermitted events.

"We’re hoping people comply with the new ordinance. We’ll still use our fusion center, intelligence divisions to monitor, get ahead of these type of events," said Assistant Dallas Police Chief Michael Ito.

Another incident involving an unregulated gathering in March resulted in another shooting death at an event venue on Botham Jean Boulevard.

Police said 10 other people were wounded at that event where at least 30 shots were fired.

No arrests have been reported for the shooting deaths.

Members of the Public Safety Committee generally supported the plan they heard Monday.

"While we want the city of Dallas to host as many wonderful great entertainment events and venues as we can, we just want them to be safe," Committee Chairman Adam McGough said.

Councilman Jesse Moreno said a city goal is activity that stimulates economic growth and provides an active community for all citizens.

"So, let's keep that in mind as we work to keep Dallas an urban and thriving city," Moreno said.

A public hearing will be held on May 17 for additional input on the proposed ordinance before it is put in place.

Here are more details on the new ordinance proposal:

  • Promoters must register with the city as a Commercial Promoter
  • Registration expires after two years and a fee must be paid
  • Safety Plan required – Promoted events must include an approved safety plan.
  • General Safety Plan – Serves as the safety plan for promoted events at the venue specified in the plan. It must be signed by the commercial promoter, venue operator, and property owner.
  • Event-Specific Safety Plan – Required when a venue does not have a General Safety plan on file or if a promoted event type deviates from the General Safety plan on file. May only serve as a safety plan for the promoted event specified by date, time, and location and it must also be signed by the commercial promoter, venue operator, and property owner.
  • Safety Plan requirements are listed in the ordinance (description of the event, expected attendance, crowd management, security management, medical & first aid, TABC information, etc.)

The ordinance proposal states if promoters don't follow these rules, they could be fined at least $2,000 per violation.

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