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Wardy Landrau - -
11-11-2008, 06:51 AM
Job Requirements
The very nature of a bouncer’s job is to be confrontational and serious incidents can develop if mishandled. Before being turned loose into a disagreement between customers, bouncers need to have had training and preferably prior experience. When hiring a bouncer you must look for someone with the proper attitude and demeanor. You don’t want someone who is hot-headed or likes to fight. Thorough pre-employment screening is necessary to determine an applicant’s suitability for the job. For liability reasons, ex-felons should not be employed or anyone with a history of violence. The physical aspect is only one attribute essential for the job. Bouncers need to learn how to approach people in a non-threatening and professional manner. They need to learn about criminal and civil law applicable to use force against another and their power to arrest. Bouncers must also be taught about the limits of their authority and the amount of force that can be lawfully and safely applied.

Use of Force
Because of my work as a consultant, I am aware of incidents where bouncers have severely injured ejected customers. I have heard many stories about fights where bouncers have pummeled a customer while in the process of ejecting them from the premises. There have been cases where intoxicated customers have been killed after being taken into custody by bouncers by either asphyxiation or by use of deadly force. This is not supposed to happen.

There’s a common misconception that bouncers have authority to pick someone up and physically remove him or her from the premises for violating a club rule. It is believed that bouncers can use pain compliance holds, full-nelsons, choke holds, wrist locks, and arm bars to manhandle their patrons. This is generally not true. Simply stated bouncers cannot legally use force against unless they are taking someone into custody for a crime or in self-defense. When force is used it must be reasonable. That means no tackling, no punching, no kicking, no choking, no head butts, no piling on top, no hog-ties, and no pain compliance holds.

The authority of a bouncer, in most cases, is the same as any ordinary citizen. Bouncers have no special authority to physically eject a customer who merely becomes intoxicated or verbally obnoxious. As an employee of the nightclub, bouncers can only demand that the undesirable customer leave. If the customer refuses to leave your only legal recourse is to call the police. Sometimes a warning that the police will be called has the same effect causing the customer to depart. The police can remove an unwanted patron and issue a formal trespass warning not to return. In a few states, bouncers may legally use minimal force to remove a trespasser after being duely warned. If the customer returns after receiving this formal warning they are subject


Wardy Landrau
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