Re-Imagining the Role of Police

A New Vision for Public Safety in Social Districts

The pandemic and social justice movement forced us to question the status quo, including the role of police in nightlife and social districts. Budget cuts to police departments have left a void in public safety in some cities. Police are still under more scrutiny than ever. Many are wary of engaging in calls for service about "nuisance" behavior lest it go viral and spark further protests. There is an opportunity to re-imagine the ideal role for all safety agencies and new partners to keep people safe and orderly when socializing.

When nightlife returns in full force and cities have less resources for police, a new plan is needed. Now is the time to determine how to evaluate risk and determine an appropriate response that engages other safety partners, including fire, EMS, health and alcohol regulatory with an organized hospitality and nightlife community.

A panel of seasoned veterans will explore the future of public safety and policing in social districts.

Discussion Topics

  • What will be the greatest challenge in public safety and policing nightlife districts?
  • How can  public safety agencies work more collaboratively in developing proactive prevention processes?
  • What new approaches will be required for training officers working in nightlife districts with attention to racial justice?
  • How can an evidence based approach to evaluating risk be implemented to organize response to crime and disorder?



Former Executive Director
Major Cities Chiefs Association

Stephens is an accomplished police executive with 50 years of experience, receiving numerous awards, including the 2017 University of Cambridge Sir Robert Peel Medal for his innovative work on the SARA model. In 2015 he served as a technical advisor on the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing and was a regular session moderator at RHI Summits.


Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

Escareno brings 20 years of experience leading large scale agency reform, operations management, communications strategy, and public/government engagement. Chicago's Entertainment Venue Team has served as a template for cities throughout the world uniting police, fire, alcohol regulatory, and health departments for compliance and education.


gregory mullen

Associate Vice President Public Safety

Clemson University

Mullen brings four decades of police and public safety administration experience, including as Charleston Police Chief during the 2015 church shooting. In his new position he coordinates multiple public safety agencies at the University and with the city of Clemson. He has served as an RHI consultant and co-authored the Public Safety and Policing Nightlife Districts.


How the Champions of Nightlife Emerged During the Pandemic

Dining and entertainment businesses have been devastated by pandemic-era restrictions. “The first to close and the last to reopen” in many cities.

Although relaxed rules around alcohol to-go and a transition to outdoor seating and take-out have provided a lifeline for some, others are barely holding on.

The future of nightlife will depend upon organized alliances and advocates to advance progressive policy and resources.

Cities fortunate enough to have a hospitality and nightlife association have benefited from advocacy and clear explanations of ever-changing rules and regulations. Association leaders have emerged as champions of the social economy, demanding a seat at the table to discuss recovery and relief. This discussion will show how local, state/province, national and international associations are working with their members and peers to repair, restore and re-imagine nightlife.

Discussion Topics

  • How has the role of associations evolved during the pandemic?
  • What are the most significant accomplishments of associations during the pandemic?
  • What are the next (and more difficult) changes associations are advocating for?
  • How are venues managing staffing, supplies and regulatory reforms?
  • How has the hospitality industry provided environments for safe, healthy socializing?



Andrew rigie

Executive Director

New York City Hospitality Alliance

New York, NY

Tony A. Elenis

President and CEO

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

Ontario, Canada

john Bodnovich

Executive Director

American Beverage Licensees

Bethesda, MD

Chelsea Reviriego LLanta

Executive Director

International Nightlife Association


RESPONSIBLE HOSPITALITY INSTITUTE 831.469.3396 RHI is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 with a mission to assist 
businesses and communities to plan safe and vibrant places to socialize. ©2018 Responsible Hospitality Institute