Mayor checks night security at Dimples

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NATCHEZ — Natchez Mayor Butch Brown visited Saturday night a Main Street club about which the city recently received complaints to investigate security at the club.

No disturbance occurred at Dimples Saturday, but Brown said he went into Dimples because he drove by shortly before midnight and saw no security officers outside. Brown said he had driven by the club at least three times recently to see the security situation, but decided to stop on Saturday.

Brown said he and Dimples owner Deidre Cox made a verbal agreement at a March meeting, during which complaints about Dimples were addressed, that Dimples have two off-duty police officers in uniform work security outside the bar.

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Cox said she does not recall making an agreement to have uniformed police officers at the public meeting.

Cox said she had two police officers working security outside, one of which was in uniform, and an additional security officer.

The mayor contends no security officers were outside when he stopped at Dimples.

“I went in there because she was not honoring the agreement she made, and when I drove by there, there were people congregating outside, and I saw no security outside,” he said.

Brown also called Police Chief Danny White to come to Dimples Saturday night, and another patrol car also came to the bar.

“All of this was done, and there was no (disturbance),” Cox said.

White said when he arrived he saw no disturbance and only discussed security with the mayor and Dimples management.

“There wasn’t that many people there,” he said. “I was just checking on security just to make sure they were maintaining the street and making sure the sidewalk was clear.”

Neighboring residents and business owners have complained to the city about loud and unruly Dimples patrons who reportedly cause disturbances on Main Street.

A shooting during which no one was injured last month near Dimples sparked the attention from city officials, but Brown said Dimples has been a source of complaints for years.

Brown said his main concern with having security outside the club is to ensure patrons do not loiter outside.

“If they want to be open and inside there all night, then fine,” he said. “But (patrons) are not going to go up and down the streets with beer bottles and put them in planters and leave them on people’s office windows.”

Cox said if her club was not located on Main Street, it would not be receiving as much attention from the city.

“If I was out on Pilgrim Boulevard, it wouldn’t be this way,” Cox said, referring to a recent shooting at a night club on Pilgrim Boulevard.

Natchez police have said a man was shot in the leg outside of Club Déjà vu at approximately 3 a.m. April 6.

Initial police reports indicated the man was shot inside the club, a reason Brown said he did not personally visit the club after the shooting.

Other downtown bars operate without security, Cox said, and are not subject to the same scrutiny Dimples has received.

Cox said she believes her club is being targeted because it serves predominantly black clientele on Main Street.

Brown said he is not targeting Dimples, but trying to address complaints that have been made about the club.

“We have had complaints about Dimples, that’s where the shooting occurred, and we’ve had almost (700) calls to the police department (since 2006) about them,” he said.