The Gainesville Police Department says it's not only fighting crime downtown but deterring it as well. As part of the department's zero tolerance policy on alcohol, the agency doubled its police presence last night. Police stress their goal isn't for more arrests rather it to increase public safety and enjoyment. Officers were on foot, bikes, and even horses patrolling the area.
"I want the law abiding citizen to go downtown and see why there is a lot of cops down here. It's safe downtown and I want the criminals to see that this is not a place I where want to be," said Segregant Barry Kays.
Some bar owners and patrons say the increase of officers, barricading streets, and the added patrol is intimidating and discourages people from going downtown. The Gainesville Police Department argues when people feel secure they're more willing to come out and spend money.
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