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SAPD Steps Up Enforcement Around Gay Clubs And Pride Events

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
SAPD Chief William McManus (right) talks with former San Antonio Mayor, now U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro at a vigil Sunday night

Police presence around San Antonio’s gay bars will increase following the Orlando terror attacks. The chief of the San Antonio Police Department spoke to the owner of several bars Sunday afternoon.

Police Chief William McManus says as of Sunday night, there will be more police around North Main; the avenue with many of the city’s gay bars. “We talked about internal security, external security involved, additional police presence involved, increased police presence in the area, more visibility.”

McManus was meeting with Randy Cunniff, the owner of Luther’s Café and three other gay bars on the street.

Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Randy Cunniff is the owner of Luther's Cafe, Knockout, The Heat, and Sparky's on N. Main Ave.

Cunniff says the bars have a working relationship with SAPD. “We’ve always had a great rapport and worked together, it’s just a little more awareness and making employees a little more aware of situations.”

At least 50 people died in the Orlando attacks at the Pulse night club which is a gay bay. More than 50 were injured as well.

The attacks come during Pride Month, a time when celebrations of LGBT culture and parades occur across the country.

Cunniff says the attack hit home, he doesn’t believe it will keep people away from the bars or Pride events. “This is a strong community and it always has been so I think it just makes us stronger.”

San Antonio’s Pride parade is July 2nd and McManus says there will be more police there as well. “I would say that there is nothing to worry about but we do want everyone to have situational awareness.”

In addition to more police, the clubs have their own security and may implement additional safety measures.