Garrison meets with local business leaders
February 13, 2009
- Garrison reaches out to community
- Bar owners commit to check identification cards
<strong>SEOUL</strong> - Garrison officials met with Itaewon Bar Owner's Association representatives Feb. 5 to pledge stronger cooperation.
Members of the association are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for their clientele, said Garrison Community Relations Officer An Chang-sin. "This includes zero tolerance for prostitution, underage drinking, and illegal drugs," he said. "The Association has pledged to report such behavior to the appropriate garrison officials."
Garrison Commander Col. Dave Hall and members of his staff discussed details of the effort before signing a formal memorandum of agreement.
Recently changes in curfew hours for U.S. Forces Korea personnel have resulted in increased vigilance by U.S. military police. Yongsan officials agreed that vigilance is the key and emphasized that this must be a group effort.
"We understand your concerns, and our MPs will do all they can within their means to encourage a safer environment," Hall said. "The responsibility must be shared."
The association offered to make site visits to determine which establishments are legal and safe for Soldiers to visit.
The agreement was signed by Hall and Itaewon Bar Owner's Association President Yoo Won-soon.
"Today is a great day," Hall said. "This sort of active cooperation between the garrison and local representatives is emblematic of the strong Korean-American alliance."
"It is fortunate that we have a chance to share our concerns and cooperate with garrison officials," Yoo said. "Not only is this good for our businesses, but on a grander scope of things, it's crucial to friendships between Americans and Koreans. I believe it is the responsibility of us all to be good neighbors."