Albany County is introducing a new state-funded initiative that allows bars and restaurants to train their wait staff, bartenders, and management on the difference between flirting and sexual harassment to "reduce the risk of sexual harassment and violence" in bars for patrons and staff.
County Executive Dan McCoy says there can be some big differences in the way female employees view an incident as opposed to men. So, a training protocol has been developed that will allow employees to recognize what's happening and intervene, if necessary.
Rachel Wilson is the Director of the County's Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Prevention Center and says bartenders can "say something subtle, ask someone directly if they're uncomfortable, or create a distraction."
The "Safer Bar" program was actually developed in Arizona, and is gaining momentum across the country. Albany County is one of the first in the state to commit to it. A dozen Albany bars have signed on and have had at least 70% of their staff take the training.
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