Bar owners meeting with City Council over safety on Strip
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Giselle Hood
TUSCALOOSA – In the wake of several high-profile incidents on the Strip just off the University of Alabama campus, bar owners are searching for ways they can improve patron safety. To that end, several owners and managers who have a stake in the area are meeting with members of the Tuscaloosa City Council soon for an open discussion on preventing future violence.
“If people don’t feel safe then they won’t come out, regardless of whose business it is,” said District 2 Tuscaloosa City Council Member Raevan Howard. “I do want to commend the bar owners for trying to do the best that they can and for coming to us and for being vocal.”
More police patroling the Strip is one improvement already happening.
Unique Bar owner Chris Coleman said those extra patrols are making a difference.
“There was a large increase in police presence this past weekend and I, for one, sincerely appreciate it,” Coleman said. “I know it’s a lot of man-hours and a lot on the city to put that many down here.”
Council members are also looking into ways the city can better regulate the restaurants and bars most likely to be the cause of potential violence.
Coleman said he thinks more involvement from the city could help stop violence before it happens.
“I would like to see us be a little more proactive as far as, if you see a bar trending in that direction, maybe step in and put an end to them before the shooting actually happens,” Coleman said.