After a fatal shooting in the 200 block of 2nd Ave, Chris Jarvis, assistant manager at Scratch Nightclub said he feels violence in downtown Saskatoon will continue as the drug trade in Saskatoon continues to grow.
“We do our best to maintain a healthy and safe environment for the people who come to the club, but unfortunately these things happen and these things are going to be happening more and more—it sounds like—with the way the drug trade seems to be picking up in Saskatoon,” said Jarvis.
Jarvis said Scratch has been cooperating with the Saskatoon Police Service adding the nightclub has turned over all of their surveillance tapes of the night of the shooting to police, but noted this kind of problem won’t be going away.
“I have a feeling as Saskatoon is growing, the opportunity for drug dealers from out of town will grow,” said Jarvis. “I don’t know what the solution is, but at this point it’s becoming a problem and I think this is a very big indicator of what’s going on.”
Jarvis was working the night of the shooting, but said he didn’t hear anything from inside the club adding over all, the night was a fairly uneventful.
“The whole surprise came probably—from what I can understand—15 to 20 minutes later,” he said. “As reported to me by the bouncers and the staff, nothing had happened by the club the entire night we had a completely positive environment.”
He continued, “As far as I understand any kind of confrontation happened outside of the club and was initiated outside of the club.”
Jarvis said even though the club doesn’t have a formal relationship with police it does have protocol of calling the police as soon as confrontation arises, something the SPS says they encourage.
“Instead of confrontations with people who we feel would be difficult or cause problems, we have a protocol of just calling police in and then they come and deal with it,” he said. “They’re usually there really quick and this kind of incident will just speed up that decision making process when it happens.”
He said the club will be making more of an effort to maintain their relationship with the SPS to ensure the club and the police are always in communication.
“The downtown corridor is going to be a very busy place, we’re one of many bars on the strip, and these things happen because of the nightlife,” said Jarvis. “The drug trade and nightlife go kind of hand-in-hand.”