Chamber of Commerce meeting addresses public safety

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Emily Benito

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is looking for solutions alongside the city and law enforcement for increased security around the University of Alabama campus.

On Wednesday, the Chamber hosted a meeting focused on finding those solutions.

UA Student Government Association President Madaline Martin said it could be beneficial to add more lighting to darker places around the area alongside adding more emergency phone boxes around campus.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said the city will be partnering with the university so they can add safety infrastructure including lighting and camera security.

Maddox said it is important to recognize, however, the crime reported in these areas is often caused by people who are visiting and not residents.

“The majority of the issues we have seen on the Strip have been from people who are not from Tuscaloosa,” Maddox said. “We want to let people know that there are expectations and if you come into our community, we are going to have law enforcement available and please behave yourself, do the right things, have a good time, but let’s do it safely. We’re all in this together.”

Another growing concern is business owners who apply for a restaurant license and turn their establishment into a bar soon after opening. Of course that’s allowed if the city’s on board, Maddox said, but owners should be aware that they’re at the mercy of the city’s laws.

In Tuscaloosa, a gastropub is an establishment operating as a restaurant during the day and evening but swaps to a bar-like setting after 10 p.m. Tuscaloosa restaurants including Innisfree Irish Pub, The Bear Trap and World of Beer are classified as gastropubs.

Categories: Crime, Local News