Orlando leaders suggest changes to nightlife security
ORLANDO, Florida – After two shootings in the downtown Orlando entertainment district, one of which was fatal, Orlando city officials are proposing measures to improve security.
They want to increase the number of police patrols and surveillance cameras and suspend permission for outside loudspeakers. City officials are also suggesting restrictions on seating rules for outdoor terraces, which were relaxed during the pandemic.
What you need to know
- Orlando City officials say the atmosphere of a street party resulted in recent gun violence
- The proposal under consideration would add police patrols and cameras and limit the number of outdoor seats
- Some owners fear that the proposed changes could affect the business
- The city council will discuss and possibly vote on the proposed changes on June 7th
These proposed changes are designed to protect people who visit bars and restaurants. However, some business owners fear that changes could affect their bottom line.
“It was definitely the toughest year of my working life,” said Dirk Farrow, who owns several bars and restaurants in downtown Orlando.
“I applaud the city’s efforts to make downtown safer than it already is.”
At one point during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city allowed businesses to use parking lots, sidewalks and other right of way as seating areas to attract customers and give them more space to operate with social distancing requirements implemented due to coronavirus concerns were.
The eased restrictions helped Farrow stay in business, he said. But soon, he and other business owners may need to take those extra seats and go back to the state they were in before the pandemic.
“I can’t connect the dots between the terrace cafes and the lack of security in the downtown area, and that is sure to hurt our business,” Farrow said.
The changes could deter customers from coming at a point when they think they’ll finally return in full.
“The last thing you want to do is kill the downtown vibe, and if we kill the downtown vibe – and part of the downtown vibe is the sidewalk cafes – if you go downhill you may never come back “said Farrow said.
Orlando City Council is expected to discuss the proposed changes and could adopt them at its June 7th session.