Mobile Police are stepping up patrols this holiday weekend. This, after two reported rapes in the Entertainment District. Officers are asking everyone who’s out and about, to be aware of their surroundings.
“Downtown will have a good presence of police in the entertainment district,” said Assistant Police Chief Clay Godwin.
A lot of people who work downtown are spreading the word as well. There were a lot more people down on Dauphin street tonight. It wasn’t your typical Wednesday night crowd. It’s Thanksgiving eve, a night when many people like to have a good time. In fact, some call it “Drinksgiving,” or “Blackout Wednesday.” It’s one of the busiest nights of the year for bars.
“Most of the time there’s a lot of people around and it’s just fun,” said Austin Hirsch, who frequents a lot of downtown bars.
“The streets will probably be full, just be aware of your surroundings,” explained Christina Dunnam, a bartender at OK Bicycle Shop.
People who work down Dauphin Street are on alert after two separate rape incidents over the past few weeks. According to MPD, one allegedly happened in a downtown hotel. Both victims met the suspects in the Entertainment District. So bartenders are warning those who partake in the festivities over this weekend to have a safety plan.
“Definitely always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t just clock in to the spot where you’re at you know look around every once in a while. Don’t be in your phone entire walk home. Don’t walk by yourself, if there someone that can work with you take it,” said Dunnam.
Locals say it’s good to have a safety plan but isn’t as dangerous downtown as people think.
“Just at the bars, I haven’t noticed anything terrible,” said Hirsch.
They say you should still always be smart about your decisions.
“I mean you really just stick with your friends in groups stay with me but you know and stick to the main street if you can,” he added.
And for those who aren’t quite prepared when they come out, bartenders say they’re ready to step in, if needed. In fact, managers of OK Bicycle Shop bar, sat down with team members to re-enforce and remind workers of the best safety practices when leaving work late at night.
“Can go and ask for help if they need to. Because that’s what we’re here for. We worked in this industry and we see it every day. Not to the extremes of what happened last weekend, but we’re here to help,” added Dunnam.
Police are increasing their presence throughout this area over the weekend. In fact, there are police at just about every corner in the more lively parts of Dauphin Street.
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