Since the Covington City Council approved a new alcohol ordinance in June requiring restaurant/bar managers and bartenders to submit to background checks in order to serve alcohol, approximately 80 individuals have received their permits.
Though Friday was the original deadline to come into compliance with the new employee permit requirement, the deadline has been extended until Aug. 8 due to a problem with the finger printing machine used for the background checks.
The background check requirement was passed at the urging of Covington Police Department Chief Stacey Cotton with the intention of keeping drug dealers and sex offenders from serving alcohol to the public
"I can't say that everyone in Covington came and got theirs on time," Cotton said. "Obviously a lot of people have been waiting to the last minute."
According to CPD Lt. Wendell Wagstaff, the police department has approved most of the 70-80 employee permit applications they have received, though they have denied about four applicants due to prior felony convictions and alcohol/drug related offenses.
Cotton said the background checks did not turn up any individuals with warrants out on them.
"For the most part, things are going very smoothly," said Wagstaff, who is helping administer the employee permit program. "It's very busy at our lobby because of it. We're telling people usually it will take a couple of days once they turn anything into us [to receive their permits.]"
Under the city's new ordinance, all restaurant/bar managers and bartenders are to report to CPD to pay $35 for a background check and employee permit. These permits must be renewed annually.