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Scottsdale, business owners look to improve downtown safety

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane will deliver his State of the City address Thursday morning. He’ll give the speech in downtown Scottsdale – the city is currently working with some businesses in that part of town to address security concerns, after a bouncer at a bar was stabbed to death last month. KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: Lane calls the murder a “unique event,” but has been meeting with bar and restaurant owners from Scottsdale’s entertainment district, to work out ways to improve safety. Among the proposals is to have the city look into increased lighting in the area, require training for all security personnel at bars and changes to the security, maintenance and operation plans bars submit to the city. But, Lane says, he doesn’t believe having more police officers downtown is the answer.

JIM LANE: I think downtown Scottsdale is probably the safest kind of entertainment district that there is in the state, and maybe in the Southwest. Bar fights, I mean, we’d be crazy to say they’re not gonna happen, but when they elevated to deadly violence, we’re now having to look at a different component.

BRODIE: Lane says last month’s stabbing gave city leaders the impetus to look into this issue. Bill Crawford applauds that. The President of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life says the problems aren’t new. He’s lived and worked downtown for more than a decade and says the incident was predictable and preventable.

BILL CRAWFORD: We need to put these things in place because the way we’re going right now, it’s very shortsighted. There will be more incidents, there will be more catastrophic examples of bad behavior down here if we don’t do the right things. And, it’s not too late to save it. We need to save it, but we need to be pro-active in our efforts.

BRODIE: And, Crawford worries if safety issues aren’t addressed, Scottsdale’s brand could be poisoned.