Traverse City Record-Eagle

September 27, 2012

Forum: Union St. Station taking safety steps

By Rick and Christina Thompson and Kelly Greilick
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---- — We think it is important to clarify some of the misunderstandings and misinformation many people may have about Union Street Station.

First, we would like to clear up the perception that we are not cooperating with the city in regards to taking extra security measures to improve the 100 block of Union Street. We did not receive the letter from the city attorney that was discussed in the Sept. 20 Record-Eagle article headlined: "TC: More security at Union St. bars."

We have since asked for and received a copy of that letter. The city acknowledged it was sent to the wrong address. We have been in contact with the city attorney, Lauren Trible-Laucht, and have a meeting set to speak with her, along with police officials, to collaborate on ideas. We have no reason to be uncooperative with city officials and/or police officials.

Second, we have been proactive with the security measures taken thus far. We have floodlights in both front and back of our establishment. We have two security guards on staff every night, one located at the front of the bar and one located at the back of the bar.

Our security guards are not only watching for problems, they are also ensuring that people coming into Union Street Station are not already visibly intoxicated. If they appear to be, that person is not allowed to enter our establishment.

We have also taken the initiative to have all our staff members, with the exception of recent new hires, certified in Techniques of Alcohol Management. The state only requires one employee on the premises at all times be certified. We feel it is beneficial to have all staff members trained to ensure our customers are not over-served. We are currently in the process of putting up surveillance cameras inside and outside Union Street Station as well.

Finally, we want a safe atmosphere for our customers. That is the bottom line. We have made and will continue to make changes to our practices based on the best interests of all involved. We will continue to work with the city/police officials to ensure we are all making Union Street a safe area.

Union Street Station has been voted the No. 1 location for the best live music in Traverse City for over 15 years. Safety is one way to ensure we keep that status in the future.

About the authors: Rick and Christina Thompson and Kelly Greilick have owned Union Street Station since January 2011.

About the forum: The forum is a periodic column of opinion written by Record-Eagle readers in their areas of interest or expertise. Submissions of 500 words or less may be made by e-mailing letters@record-eagle.com. Please include biographical information and a photo.