INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - After the deadliest mass shooting in American history, local LGBTQ bars and clubs are working with police to increase security.
“This could have happened here. It could have been me that got the phone call at 5:00 in the morning saying your staff and employees are gone. A mass tragedy has happened,” said Metro Bar General Manager Chet VanWye.
A mass tragedy like the one in Orlando, Florida on Sunday. Where 49 people were killed and many more wounded. The local LGBTQ community now has to look at how safe they are.
“Yesterday I was scared and now I’m still a little frightened. It could have happened here. We had 125,000 LGBT people and allies downtown Saturday. It could have easily happened here,” said Chris Paulson of Freedom Indiana.
Freedom Indiana, Indy Pride, and several other groups have worked tirelessly to update the states civil right’s laws. Banning discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity. The groups rallied for change and created a safe place for LGBTQ people in the Circle City. The attack at Pulse nightclub, fueled by hate and terror has tried to stop that change.
“I think that we probably got a little lax and let our guard down a little. Things were moving forward, you thought things were getting better. But, obviously this is something that can still happen today,” said Paulson.
LGBTQ bars and clubs on Mass Ave. are meeting with IMPD to update their security plans. Working with the officers to keep the places the group feels the most comfortable, safe. General Chet Metro Club on Mass Avenue is looking at adding security guards, metal detectors, and more.
“We are going to do everything that we can to educate ourselves and do what we can to prevent something like this from happening. But, the bottom line is that you can not always prepare for things that are unexpected,” said VanWye.
As Orlando grieves, the Indianapolis LGBTQ community will continue to push forward. Focusing on improving security and safety to protect their brothers and sisters in the Circle City.
“We know that love is greater than hate and we will move forward,” said Paulsen.
Along with adding security measures to ensure that their bars and restaurants stay safe, Metro Bar and others carry a terrorism insurance policy. That policy ensures minority bars in case of terror attacks like the one at Pulse nightclub.