Downtown crime a concern in midst of DPAC opening

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

The man who made his mark in downtown Orlando in the 1970s by opening Church Street Station and helping to revitalize the City Center, is worried an uptick in downtown crime will hurt business of the future Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

The stage is set for the $525 million venue’s debut in November, but Bob Snow is concerned about public perception that downtown Orlando isn’t safe, especially after a summer riddled with shootings and a fatal stabbing.

“We want to make sure it’s as safe as it possibly can be downtown,” Snow said.

In a letter he wrote days before a woman was accidentally killed by an officer’s stray bullet, Snow said DPAC’s demographics are apprehensive about downtown crime.

“We got to change all that and we got to help the Police Department make it easier,” he said.

Aside from his own security team and a network of cameras, Snow wants to bring back mounted patrols.

While the department still staffs the unit, it’s not widely used anymore.

“We’d like to increase that because it’s a really good way of controlling crowds,” Snow said.