After working with the Arlington Police Dept over the last year, they are just about to launch the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI). This initiative has been based on BBN standards. In recognition of the support given by BBN UK, Corporal Dimitrios Mastoras has sent us the following article.
Corporal Dimitrios Mastoras, Restaurant Liaison Officer, Arlington County Police Department, VA
The nightlife scene in Clarendon, a neighbourhood in Arlington, VA, has grown dramatically in the past ten years. With the growth in restaurants and patrons, police saw an increase in public safety issues, specifically quality of life and public disorder crimes. In the spring of 2016, the Arlington County Police Department created a full-time restaurant liaison officer position to address these issues and assist in raising the best practices of restaurants that serve alcohol. Under Virginia’s Alcohol Beverage Control Department law, all businesses that serve alcohol must serve food. The result of this law is there are no traditional “bars or pubs”.
In evaluating how to develop a program that would raise the best practices of restaurants in Arlington, the department assessed the standards outlined in the Best Bar None program. Using this program, with the assistance of National Coordinator Mick McDonnell, has allowed Arlington, VA to develop a program tailored to fit our laws and develop standards to raise best practices. Without Best Bar None’s proven success and blueprint, it would have taken far more time to develop and implement standards for the restaurants.
Because we are a county government we will be looking to partner with business advocacy groups to recognize restaurants that adopt and are successful in implementing best practices for their restaurants.