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Plan to increase police presence in Downtown Orlando enters second weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the second weekend since a mass shooting in Downtown Orlando left seven people hurt, police will be patrolling the area in greater numbers.

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The police department’s controlled entry points into the downtown area are in place again, but city leaders say that’s not the only thing they’re doing to keep people safe.

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City Commissioners are currently drafting an ordinance that would require new business owners to apply for a “special permit” and show a safety plan in order to serve alcohol after midnight.

Josh Felices, manager of “Hooch” in Wall Street Plaza, says that won’t help.

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“I think it’s really going to hurt the business down here,” Felices said. “Downtown is known for bars and clubs, and if you stop alcohol sales at midnight, I think that’s really going to hurt, not only for the business owners but for customers as well. I think they’ll just stop coming out here.

Felices says Hooch has already increased his security in the past two weeks, hiring about 10 more security guards and adding metal detectors.

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City officials say they also plan to add metal detectors to the downtown area in the coming weeks. They also want to add more lighting and cameras.

One additional step the city is considering would be to require parking lot owners to have a security plan. They would also have to block off the lots when closed.

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