More than 3,000 miles away from Orlando, Florida, where a nightclub shooting claimed 49 lives, gay bar owners here in Southern California are being urged to take precautions in the event of a similar attack.
Since the mass shooting on June 12 at Pulse, a popular Orlando gay club, members of the law enforcement community have been visiting gay bars and nightclubs in the San Fernando Valley, West Hollywood and Silver Lake to advise management on how to protect patrons during a potential terrorist attack.
“We’re actually meeting with each of the establishments as best we can and taking a look at their floor plans, taking a look at their exits and working with them to come up with a plan should something like Orlando happen here,” said Capt. Holly Perez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station.
Perez joined representatives from the city of West Hollywood, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department criminal intelligence bureau Thursday for a meeting with West Hollywood bar owners and managerial staff.
“Before Orlando, a lot of (club owners) never even thought about — other than for a fire or something like that — having an evacuation plan or a hide-in-place plan,” she said.