Jeremy Griffitt owns "the ER" or "equality rocks" nightclub near downtown Joplin and always has security on his mind.
The weekend shooting of the gay Orlando nightclub brings another level of thought to the club's security. Currently, guests go through bag check and a brief conversation with a security officer before entering the bar. Guests can request an officer escort to or from their vehicles if need be, but now the ER is discussing the addition of another officer.
"I'm really concerned about the community down here feeling safe. It's an important feeling to have, to be safe," Griffitt said.
Griffitt acknowledges that the LGBT community uses his club as a safe space, a feeling he wants to continue.
"Whether it's a gay bar or not, I think there's always an issue of security. I was telling somebody yesterday, one thing we don't want to do is become complacent with the routine of not having issues," Griffitt said.
The ER is located in one of Joplin's bar districts which is monitored closely on the weekends according to Joplin police.
"Well regardless of where an active shooter event would occur at, there is always that fear that someone out there would try to duplicate it or do the same thing in another jurisdiction or place. So of course we will step up our patrol in those areas regardless of where it would occur at," Capt. Joe Moore said.
Griffitt's club is upgrading its camera system to more closely monitor guests, but he says that is just like any other bar.
"It's not just a nightclub, it's a community center. That's why we built it, we built it for the community and it is their facility," Griffitt said.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas