SAN DIEGO – A nightclub security company spent Thursday with a dozen local bar and restaurant owners providing some practical insight on what to do if in the case of a violent attack like the one that rocked Orlando earlier this month.
“We all know what to do during a fire. We all know what to do during an earthquake. But what do you do now? You have to throw in the active shooter,” said Nightclub Security Consultants President Robert Smith.
How to survive a mass shooting is on the minds of everyone following the tragic mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and on Thursday, several San Diego restaurant and bar owners, managers and even their security personnel talked about what needs to happen if a shooter walked into their business.
“It’s not unfortunate that you have to go through a TSA inspection. It is what it is. It’s how you fly safe. That’s how you travel safe,” said Smith.
Smith is a former San Diego Police officer. He hopes that opening a dialogue with these businesses will make patrons and staff better prepared to survive such an attack.
“Now the guests around the country are looking at just what you said — almost like TSA. The guests when they’re going into the hospitality industry, going to bars, clubs an restaurants, they’re now accepting that this is part of life,” said Smith.
Paris Landen runs the Observatory Theater and West Coast Tavern. She said her busineeses have already invested in additional security measures and armed off-duty officers.
“Those are the top two concerns: making sure people have a good time, while still being safe. So while it may be kind of a bummer that you may have to go through a pat down before coming to a concert, at least you know every other person went through the same process,” said West Coast Tavern manager Paris Landen.
Double Deuce bar manager Jenna Barger was happy to be a part of the conversation. She said it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“It’s very scary, but we just want everybody to feel safe because our guest safety is our number one concern,” said Barger. “Especially with Orlando now, it just really makes you think. And especially in a big city like San Diego with the All Star Game, and Comic-Con coming we got to be safer now than ever.”
“It’s the same mindset going into a bar or club. Yes, you go out with your significant other, you go out with your family, go out have a nice hamburger or a drink. You should be walking in with a mindset that what if,” Smith added.