Businesses in San Francisco's Castro District prepare for Pride Week in wake of Orlando shooting

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, June 16, 2016
SF businesses prepare for Pride in wake of Orlando shooting
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San Francisco police met with business owners impacted by Pride Week on Wednesday. Many of them have safety concerns following the Orlando shooting.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The shooting in Orlando has San Francisco police reviewing security measures for the upcoming Pride Parade. The festival is next Saturday, on June 25. And the big parade is on Sunday, June 26.

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Close to 45 merchants showed up for the meeting. And that's a lot considering it took place on a Wednesday afternoon. At the meeting, police reassured them that there will be extra police, more than they've ever seen, and there may be outside help.

Police also want to remind everyone that the Pink Party, which has always taken place on Saturday, has been cancelled.

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Harvey's Restaurant and Bar is located in the heart of the Castro District. Its strategic location also makes it a soft target.

"We're worried about a suicide bomber," said Harvey's General Manager Steve Porter. "We're worried about someone with an assault rifle."

City Hall reached out to Harvey's and other businesses in the Castro and South of Market concerned about their security in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting.

They met to discuss any possible vulnerability.

"This is mostly about making sure that these establishments have all the information they need so they can do what they need to do to keep their patrons and their staff safe," said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener.

Some bars will change their security policy.

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"We usually have a door man, but we're going to have some extra security this year and checking the bags will be a new thing," said Steven Guenther with 440 Castro Bar.

Mayor Ed Lee says the city will increase the number of police officers during Pride Week.

"Encourage everyone to say something if you see something," he said.

Next week there will be a citywide meeting which will include local hospitals and how they will respond to an emergency situation.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the victims and families of the mass shooting in Orlando, click here for more information.

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