Entertainment districts in cities across Alabama allow patrons to roam the streets freely with a glass of alcohol in hand.
But at least one business owner has questioned whether Mobile should scale back its downtown district in the aftermath of a chaotic shooting that left one dead and seven injured in downtown Mobile on New Year’s Eve. increase.
Saddle Up Saloon owner Greg Loughlin said he would ask the city council to consider shortening hours in the city’s entertainment districts and closing open alcohol by 9 p.m. Ounce plastic cups outdoors until midnight.
“It’s designed for people in the entertainment district to grab a drink and walk from one place to the next, but it’s not really,” says 200 Dauphin Street, a short walk from the mall. Mr Laughlin said. where the shooting took place.
He said the district attracts rowdy crowds late into the night.
“I’m not saying they’re all street gangs, but[people walking downtown]are uniformed and unattractive,” he said. “It’s terrifying.”
Change of business hours
Rollin is scheduled to discuss his concerns over the aftermath of the shooting before the Mobile City Council at a meeting this morning. His comments could spark some debate that hasn’t happened since the shooting. A statement was issued, but the members of the council did not make public statements during the meeting.
“Nobody wants to say anything,” said Laughlin. “I tried to talk to them on the side, but I can’t meet anyone. So I put myself on the public speaking list.”
Carol Hunter, spokesperson for the Downtown Mobile Alliance, said Laughlin was the only downtown business owner interested in shortening downtown hours.
However, she said the issue is “emerging” and that it could get more support from other business owners downtown, even if they oppose it.
“I expect there may be backlash from some other venues wanting to allow customers to bring their drinks home between 9pm (and midnight). said Hunter. “They will cut it off three hours early.”
Stimpson spokesman Jason Johnson said that changing the operating hours of the entertainment district was “not something we are trying to do at this time.”
Hours were previously shortened due to public safety concerns. In 2016, the city council shortened the district’s closing time from 2 a.m. to midnight amid a surge in outdoor block his parties and violent encounters.
The original red light district hours were set when the district was created in 2013.
Before the council takes other measures related to the safety of entertainment districts and downtown areas, Hunter will analyze the public safety measures in place by the riot police to see if they are having an impact. I think it would be helpful to
Police Chief Paul Prine has said in recent weeks that his agency has released statistics showing crime-fighting efforts are working despite an increase in homicides since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. said to announce.
Laughlin also said Mobile Police will ask whether there are enough officers working downtown Mobile. He said his concerns were more administrative and not directed at law enforcement.
“This is a matter for Congress and we need to discuss budgeting,” Laughlin said.
Mr. Prine and others say there were a lot of police calls on New Year’s Eve. Mike Pearcy, longtime owner of Pat’s Downtown, was standing on the sidewalk outside his company when the shooting occurred and rushed to the shooting that left one man dead and seven injured He said there were many police who
Prine said his agency will be in “full force” during Mardi Gras season, when the Conde Cavaliers’ parade begins on February 3 and Nelly’s concert at Mardi Gras Park.
“We expect to go all out this year,” said Prine, who called the New Year’s Eve shooting an “isolated incident.” He also said last year’s Mardi Gras was a “success” and that his agency would employ similar strategies to make the event safe.
Hosted by Reese’s Senior Bowl, the free Nelly concert was originally scheduled to be held in Cathedral Square, a few hundred feet from the Dauphin Street shooting.
But Prine and others say the shooting had nothing to do with the decision to move the concert. He said Mardi Gras parks are much bigger and wider for people to gather to see concerts.
“My understanding is that (Mardi Gras Park) was moved because it’s a bigger venue,” Prine said. “It was probably a wise decision.”
Senior Bowl spokesperson Molly Middleton said discussions about relocating to Mardi Gras Park were underway in early December, or just weeks before the shootings took place on New Year’s Eve.
The Senior Bowl is committed to ensuring a “fun, safe and exciting night” ahead of the annual college football All-Star Game on February 4 at the University of South Alabama’s Hancock Whitney Stadium. she said.
Prine said there would be a massive police surprise at the Mardi Gras park.There are no metal detectors in the park itself, he said.
“At Mardi Gras parks, it’s a bit tricky to get secure entry and exit,” says Prine. “Suffice it to say that we have a massive contingent of cops out there and people will be relieved to know they can get down there. I don’t want to cause trouble.”
Prine encourages people who notice something strange to contact the police on the scene.
“The community is our ears and eyes when they’re in these venues,” Prine said. “Sometimes the bad guys want to stay out of law enforcement’s presence.”