Downtown Pride

Downtown shows off its love and pride in support of the victims of the Pulse shooting. Along with banners, nightclubs have ramped up security to keep all of their patrons safe.

Nightclubs in Orlando have ramped up their security after the Pulse tragedy on June 12.

Safety is now the main priority for a lot of local hangout spots.

Southern Nights Orlando and Parliament House, both popular downtown LGBT clubs, have both started using a metal detector wand to search all guests. Both clubs will also have increased police presence.

"Security was never this heavy downtown, but I feel safer now. I'm glad everyone is stepping up to ensure this doesn't happen again," said Stephanie Ramirez, an Orlando native and clubgoer. 

In a Facebook post, Southern Nights Orlando said that each of their exit doors will have a guard. There will also be parking lot security, searches and a ban on any large bags or backpacks inside the club.

“Southern Nights has been a home to LGBT for 40 years. It is and will continue to be a place for all people to feel comfortable and always welcome,” Southern Nights posted on its Facebook page.

LGBT clubs aren’t the only ones with security concerns. Ono Nightclub, a dance club on Orange Avenue, has an officer at the door every night with a full security staff. Since the shooting, they have been patting down every guest and checking their bags at the entrance.

"For the most part, we are on top of security and always have been. Now we are just fine tuning,” said Steven Cleveland, lead VIP host at Ono Nightclub.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said he has been pushing for clubs to install metal detectors, check patrons with wands and pat down guests for about three years.

“Our priority is to keep this community safe, and we will do so,” Mina said to reporters in a press conference Monday.

The Orlando Police Department has been contacting all of the nightclubs in the area to assist with security issues.

"We don't talk about any of our security tactics or protocols. What I can say is that ensuring the safety of our residents and visitors is the number one priority for Orlando Police. And there are procedures underway - some of which folks can see, and others they cannot - to ensure that safety," said OPD Public Information Officer Michelle Guido.

Other states across the U.S. have also upped their security and implemented emergency plans, and pride events throughout the country are doubling their police presence to ensure everyone’s safety.

Orange County was placed in a state of emergency by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Florida Governor Rick Scott shortly after news of the Pulse shooting broke out.

President Barack Obama has said that any resources Orlando needs will be made available from the federal government.

Story originally published on June 26, 2016.

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