Fort Collins bars join network that flags troublemakers

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. --  Some bars in Fort Collins are adding to their security systems and opting in to a network of patron information.

A group called TEAM Ft. Collins helped the bars acquire ID scanners that go live Tuesday night. Six bars joined the program that is connected to a database in Canada.

As patrons enter the bar, the bar can choose to scan their ID and take their photo.

The patron's name, age and gender gathered from their ID are stored with the photo for 24 hours in the system. If the patron causes a problem, such as getting in a fight, the bar can “flag” them for as long as they like.

The next time that person's ID is scanned at another participating bar, the detailed flag will come up. It is then up to that establishment if they will allow the patron in, or choose not to serve them.

Dawn Nannini with TEAM Ft. Collins says, “You can't search through to see who has bans. The only time you know an individual has a ban is if they try to come into your business and you scan them. The ban will pop up. It's a really small percentage of people that cause trouble in an area like this, but they really burden bar staff.”

One of the bars involved in the new security is Tony's on South College Avenue. Manager Ben Peart says, “We just see it as the next step to provide the best customer service we can. I don't think it's as big brother as people think it is.” He says it's about streamlining communication between bars.

The goals for TEAM Ft. Collins are to crack down on underage drinking and fake ID's, and to send problem patrons home for the night instead of just on to the next bar.

Tony's customer Scott Boissy likes the idea and says, “All the bars should come together to make sure that everybody walks out of their places safe. This way they can keep drumming up their business and have a good safe atmosphere.”