Police sweep event halls, shut down one - WSMV Channel 4

Police sweep event halls, shut down one

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Wasting no time, the Chattanooga Police Department conducted a sweep of event halls on the same weekend new rules went into effect.

Chattanooga Police Chief Dodd, "We did a little over a dozen I believe Friday night and Saturday night and of all the ones we talked about we only saw one in violation."

Early Sunday morning, officers shut 'Da Building' on Dodds Avenue down after they say it was operating after midnight and serving alcohol without a permit.

Clear violations of the ordinance laid out by Mayor Andy Berke.

Chattanooga Mayor Berke, "I wish it were faster but everyday we put another piece together. You'll see with the highpoint initiative coming online next year, with us adding officers, with the event hall ordinances. This is all pointing toward a better 2014."

But Dexter Staples, who operates 'Da Building' says it's not about public safety, but targeting certain businesses.

He says his establishment is being targeted by the city after a young man was shot and killed in his parking lot last July.

Staples would not go on camera, but says he didn't receive notice of any violations over the weekend.
The city says notice is coming from the Beer Board, which Staples will have to answer to.

Chattanooga Police Chief Dodd, "So we don't know if he's going to have a strike against him or not. If he does, it will be one against the promoter and one against 'Da Building'."

Chief Bobby Dodd says any misunderstanding of the new rules is on business owners.

Chattanooga Police Chief Dodd, "Explained the operation to them. We also gave them the applications and a copy of the ordinance. So everybody does know now."

And he warns this won't be the only sweep of its kind.

Chattanooga Police Chief Dodd, "This gives us the tool to do deal with people who do want to operate in the gray areas or operate illegally."

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