“If I had the ability to say that downtown would be a gun-free zone, I would do that tomorrow, but I simply don’t have that ability. We’ll do everything that we can to try to keep guns out of downtown.”– ORLANDO MAYOR JOHN DYER
Following another night of violence in the Central Business District, Orlando Mayor Dyer has just shared that the City of Orlando will be rolling out “controlled entry” checkpoints starting as early as this Friday.
The news comes after a shooting this past Sunday near Wall Street in the wee hours of the morning sent seven people to the hospital. The mayor hosted a press conference on Monday, August 1, sharing that his office would be launching six checkpoints at key access points to enter the Central Business District on the busiest nights of the week, Fridays and Saturdays.
The access points, located between Pine Street and Washington Street along Orange Avenue, will be staffed by officers and police dogs trained to detect weapons as well as metal detectors. Police officers will be seizing firearms from anyone found to be holding them illegally, but would let individuals with concealed carry permits continue on their way.
Faced with a recent spike in crime in the downtown core since the beginning of the pandemic, a group of local bar owners has shared with Bungalower, with the proviso that they remain nameless until further along in their plans, that they have started discussing the feasibility of hiring their own private police/security force to patrol their block to keep their guests and staff safe.
You can read more about the City’s recent struggle with its downtown HERE in a former post.