Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

City of Tuscaloosa may reconsider aspects of entertainment districts proposal, increase police presence

The recent shooting at Temerson Square could have an impact on the plans for future entertainment districts proposed by the City of Tuscaloosa.

City Attorney Jimbo Woodson said safety would be a main priority while considering to go forward with the entertainment districts, originally planned to take effect by the first home football game. These districts would be around the Strip and Temerson Square, allowing patrons to walk outside of bars with beverages they purchased inside.

“Any time people are thinking of making changes to an area that will have an impact on our citizens, safety is considered,” Woodson said.

Woodson said a greater police presence was already planned for the entertainment districts if they are implemented, but Tuesday morning’s shooting incident might prompt even greater security measures.

“You may see a greater police presence no matter what,” he said. “We’ve never wanted a large, unmanageable crowd.”

While the details for the entertainment district still have not been decided, Woodson said this incident may affect when and how often people will be allowed outside the bars with alcohol and how far these areas will extend.

“This might change how broad of an area the district would take up,” Woodson said. “Home game weekends were being considered, but now it may be fewer weekends than that.”

Woodson said details still forthcoming about the incident will largely affect the City’s decisions toward the proposed entertainment districts.

“I think it will make a difference if the shooter remains at large and if there is expectancy for this type of violence to occur again,” Woodson said.

At 11:54 a.m. Tuesday, the Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson reported that the suspect turned himself in to the police, and as more details come to fruition, they might indicate that random violence is not an issue for the district proposal.

Sean Fleming, a senior majoring in media production, said he thinks the shooting should be considered by the City of Tuscaloosa before the entertainment districts will take effect.

“My biggest concern now is the physical security and regulation that needs to be present,” Fleming said. “Since this incident happened in a public place, police will need to patrol and control even more.”

Justin Sebring, a senior majoring in general business, said the shooting won’t have much effect on the areas where he chooses to go out and shouldn’t hinder the plan for outdoor drinking in a confined area.

“Since there might have been a previous conflict connected to the shooting, I don’t think this will be a reoccurring incident,” Sebring said. “The events of one incident shouldn’t cause all of the plans to be affected.”

Sebring said having more people outside with alcohol might lead to more violence outside the bars, but further security measures could prevent that from escalating. “[The districts] could cause more drunken brawls in the street, but with more law enforcement outside, it could lead to more arrests,” Sebring said. “There was also talk of more security cameras being installed, so that would help with safety.”

Christi Rich, a junior majoring in public relations, agreed the progress for the entertainment district should not be completely halted due to the shooting.

“Regardless of whether people are inside a bar or outside of one, someone intent on hurting people will find a way,” Rich said. “There really is no logical way to completely stop someone from carrying a weapon around the streets at night.”

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