The Roanoke Police Chief says he wants to make the night spots safer, and he's asking restaurant owners to help him out.

But some business owners say a new Dance Hall Ordinance has caught them off guard.

Thursday afternoon, Roanoke City police officers walked around and delivered copies of the Dance Hall Ordinance which goes into effect April 1.

Police Chief Chris Perkins says he worked as closely as he could with as many bars as he could.

Regardless, some business owners say they didn't know it.

Bar owners and Police in Roanoke City say they work together on plenty of things and public safety downtown is a number one priority.

For some reason, some bar owners say news of this new ordinance fell through.

"This is not new, this has been going on since last September," Police Chief Chris Perkins said.

Last fall, Perkins presented the ordinance to City Council.

Since then, he says he reached out to every bar it could affect and tried to work with them to craft something that worked for everyone.

Some called back, others didn't.

"This has been put out for months, and it's frustrating that I would have people complaining in the 11th hour of an ordinance that has been passed, that had a public hearing," Perkins added.

Roger Neel owns Corned Beef and Company. 

He says he has a good security staff already and wants to see a more consistent police presence all the time, not just when something goes wrong.

Neel says he would have participated in these talks, but he was simply unaware.

"We're interested in working with the city, and the city has grown an enormous amount, there's a lot of people coming downtown. I'm just not saying that the ordinance is the best way to go," said Neel.

The ordinance requires bars to hire certified security personnel based on the number of people the bar could hold.

Chris Perkins says something needs to be done and is firm that this is the right thing to do and he did it right.

"It's a tremendous issue because somebody is going to get hurt because of the actions that are allowed to take place in these establishments where they do not have a visible security presence," Perkins said.

There are some bars that worked very closely with Roanoke City Police and are on board with this ordinance and police will make the permitting process free for all these bars.

But some say it's frustrating and feel like it places more strains on them beyond what they do to stay ABC compliant.