Columbia Bar Holds Safety Intervention Training For Staff | Missouri News


COLUMBIA – Willie’s and Fieldhouse, a bar in downtown Columbia frequented by University of Missouri students, hosted intervention training for its employees on Sunday.

This comes after reports of drugged drinks in Colombia.

The training, run with the nonprofit Safe Bar Network, was mandatory for all of its bartenders, bar-backs, waiters and bouncers. Managers and owners also attended the training.

Willie officials said a few presidents of Greek fraternities and student associations in the MU also attended the training.

Officials said they have been using SAFE Bar Network since 2018 and train their employees twice a year. They said that with reports of drugged drinks in bars in downtown Columbia, they brought the training back for the second time this fall.

SAFE Bar Network executive director Haleigh Harrold said MU students who were hanging out at the bar are concerned about safety.

“I know from today’s conversation that the students who have attended the trainings are afraid,” said Harrold. “They want to be safe, they want to go out and have a good time. So we really wanted the community to be aware of what we can offer and give some hope that this is not the norm.”

Harrold led the staff in exercises based on their own experiences at the bar. She also played scenarios for staff where intervening in different ways can keep everyone safe.

“[I’ve] conducted conversations with their staff focused on detecting uncomfortable and unsafe behavior, all options to check in, how to intervene, how to keep someone safe, ”she said.

Harrold said since 2018 they have trained more than 500 employees who have worked at the bar.

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