The City of Gainesville is tightening security at a downtown parking garage in response to violence

GPD has been struggling to mitigate crowds that gather due to staffing shortages.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 7:48 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Security is becoming tighter at a parking garage in downtown Gainesville following a deadly shooting.

Ever since the Gainesville City Commission allowed open containers back in 2021, some residents believe the Southwest Downtown Parking Garage has become a place where rowdy crowds gather.

With the recent rise in crimes, the City of Gainesville is adding some new safety features at the garage in downtown Gainesville.

Along with the city commission voting to ban open containers, some of the new safety measures the city is implementing are additional surveillance cameras, increasing overnight security, and closing the garage from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M., Thursdays through Sundays.

Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott admitted that they’ve been struggling to mitigate crowds due to department staffing shortages.

“One night, my officers had to hold over the evening shift till almost 4 o’clock dealing with crowds. The 50 additional officers weren’t enough. That’s what was used to tap me on the shoulder and say hey chief, we need to do something about this. We need to be a little more aggressive and try to bring this issue forward,” said Scott.

Chief Scott also said residents living in the downtown area fed up with the disruptions and want to feel safe again.

“There’s been a lot of new restrictions and a lot of new security measures in place to respond to these allegations or respond to this violence. The only thing I know for sure is that the parking garage is going to be way less populated and have a lower chance of that violence,” said Kyle Walker, resident at The Palms.

Chief Scott hopes these new safety measures will finally create some peace.

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