Central Fla. bar employees trained to watch for signs that lead to abuse

Staff members learn how to prevent sex assaults, become active bystanders

By Loren Korn - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Police Department said alcohol is a factor in about half of all cases of sexual assault, which is why there's a big push to train bar employees on how to watch for signs that can lead to abuse.

The Police Department, along with the Victim Service Center of Central Florida and University of Central Florida Victim Services, kicked off its first BarTAB Orlando training.

Bartenders and other staff members packed The Beacham on Tuesday afternoon to learn about how to prevent sexual assaults and become active bystanders.

"Just recognizing the signs, knowing that if they see someone that is intoxicated, seeing someone that may slip something in someone's drink. Just recognizing anything that is abnormal," said Sgt. Wanda Ford, of Orlando Police Department.

Employees received a test to fill out before watching a short film and were then re-tested to see what they've learned.

Beacham bar owner John SanFelippo said the interactive training is a great idea for his staff.

"It's pretty much our duty as night club operators to make sure everybody's safe, and look to see and stop potential bad situations from happening," SanFelippo said.

"Bartenders are serving alcohol to a lot of young people and it's important to recognize those signs of what's going around them," Ford said.

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