Raleigh focused on security for summer celebrations

Raleigh focused on security for summer celebrations

Ahead of Tuesday's The Works festival in downtown Raleigh, several businesses and law enforcement firms are making a commitment to keeping people safe.

Allied Universal and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance recently held the first security summit to proactively address security in downtown Raleigh. Allied employs the red-shirt ambassadors via a contract with DRA. The meeting, which will take place quarterly, will involve corporate security from downtown businesses, the Raleigh Police Department, private security firms, and property owners.

"That first meeting was generalized," said Allied Universal's John Botner.

He says the first meeting was informal and meant for everyone in attendance to introduce each other. Further meeting swill address logistics for future events downtown.

"We're just getting that started overall as a group to improve safety and security downtown," Botner said.

Botner also says the red-shirt ambassadors are meant to serve as "proactive security escort type of agency." If a crime is committed, Botner says Raleigh Police will need to deal with it.

The Works will take place on Independence Day on Fayetteville Street and will be first event since the security summit.

"The big thing is situational awareness," said Botner.

He says people who visit downtown Raleigh should travel in groups, have a plan, drink in moderation, and know how to get home.

Wake County resident Brian Gorman works downtown and says he generally feels safe.

"It could be ignorance. It really could," said Gorman. "Also, I haven't heard of a lot of incidents happening in the city of Raleigh. But I suppose that's a vulnerability that's created over time when you get complacent."

Other large events expected to take place downtown in the coming months include the Food Truck Rodeo in August and the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in September.

ABC11 reached out to the Raleigh Police Department for police reports and incidents for last year's festival and The Works. Records for those events were not readily available.

Garner resident Bronisliva Colon and her family visiting from the Czech Republic spent part of the Thursday exploring downtown. She's aware of recent terror attacks across the country and the world, but says it doesn't deter her from enjoying life.

"Yeah you worry about stuff like that. But you're not going to put your life on hold just because of one crazy person (driving) into a big group of people," Colon said. "I mean you have to live your life."

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