Downtown Crackdown: Part One

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by Pearl-Grace Rasmussen

 ANCHORAGE -- "It's a regular occurrence that the cops and ambulances are down [town]," said Arthur Texter, and employee downtown. "To the point where we thought about tallying the days they have come down here."

 
When it comes to downtown some people think of violence and crime related to alcohol.
Just like texter, an employee at Oomingmak, a business located by the Transit Center.
 
"Since our co-op blocks the view of the security of the Transit Center," continues Texter. "They are constantly going behind our business and drinking and we have people that pass out there and start fights."
 
Others, like long time bar owner John Pattee, believe people have created a stigma downtown that is hurtful to business owners.
 
"The biggest challenge for security is dealing with the variety of folks who come down," said Patee. "Seeing who can become a potential problem is the hardest job. To look at somebody and say they are going to be a problem later on or not."
 
"That is a safety concern that not necessarily for me I am kind of a big guy," adds Texter. "But some of the people I work with they have a really hard time with it."
 
Others downtown say they have recognized the problem and are developing programs to increase safety. 
 
"All the businesses including the bars, night clubs, and restaurants that is our number one priority," explained Patee. "For us,it  is to make sure people have a good time in a safe way."