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Bars Train To Prevent Sexual Assault

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Downtown Medford businesses could soon be better trained to spot sexual predators. The Sexual Assault Response Team, or SART, is working with local bars, teaching employees how to better detect potentially dangers situations.

Employees at Omar’s already know a thing or two about spotting a potential sexual assault suspect. The folks who trained them met with Medford Police on Thursday to talk training for local bartenders downtown.

“Our bartenders are now a little bit more aware of how much is being served and watching to make sure that it’s not a guy coming up and buying two drinks and delivering it to a girl when she may be sitting at a table going, ‘No, I don’t want any more’ and him buying it automatically, we’ll stop that,” says Khris Del Monaco, the owner of Omar’s Restaurant and Bar.

The team that taught employees that lesson is now taking the training to another town. SART is teaming up with police officers who say this kind of stuff happens in Medford bars, too.

“What we’ve found is that these are very difficult cases to investigate and difficult cases to prove in court,” states Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau.

So, Medford Police is working with SART to make Medford a safer place for folks trying to have fun.

“Really what we’re trying to do is try to prevent any sexual assault of occurring in the first place,” Lt. Budreau says, “by having the folks that are in the bars serving the alcohol so that if they see something based on our training, they would actually do something about it that would prevent a rape.”

Something the owner at Omar’s approves for any business.

“You just feel uncomfortable,” says Khris Del Monaco. “We don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable when they walk into our establishment, and I think any place would want that. Both with our servers and bartenders, we want them to be aware of those potential hazards.”

Medford Police will provide a team of three officers to receive training from the SART team and then pass that training on to Medford businesses in about two weeks.