Farmington Hills police look for ordinance solutions to combat fights at hookah bars, activity centers

Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 18:18:43-05

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A rise in cases of violence and gun possession at some hookah bars and activity centers in Farmington Hills has led police and city leaders exploring tougher ordinances and licensing options.

“We had some teens causing fights back in the spring, and started hiring more security officers," said Bob Brenay at Sport n’ Fun on Grand River Avenue. "We’ve also spent nearly $30,000 on improved surveillance cameras.”

Police spoke out Monday night at a city council meeting. They say they are concerned about trends that included some shootings near hookah bars on Northwestern Highway.

“The issues seem to fall in the same time frame as rising COVID cases, but I’m not sure about the exact connection,” says Chief Jeff King with Farmington Hills police. “I was thankful to the council to allow us to explore another tool to address public safety concerns.”

Moving forward, the city says addressing fights and unruly behavior can be done more effectively with licensing and ordinance enforcement. Something Bob Brenay says he’s willing to follow for the sake of all those who visit.

“I keep it very safe," he said. "Yes, we did have problems in the spring with teenage fights.”

On their front door, they’ve posted the rules of conduct. However, security guards there will not be carrying firearms. No word on how soon an ordinance could pass.