Person hired to oversee Orlando nightlife development, safety

- Orlando city officials say they’ve hired someone to oversee the downtown nightlife.

The new night manager just got on the job last week, according to Thomas Chatmon Jr., executive director of the Downtown Development Board and Community Redevelopment Agency.

“The nighttime economy is unique. It has different, separate and distinct circumstances and challenges than our regular daytime economy and so we recognize that we didn’t have anyone that was focused primarily on that,” Chatmon said.

FOX 35 wanted to know how focused the job will be on safety.

“There’s nothing more important than public safety. Certainly, the committee looks to look at that, to address it, try and be proactive and get ahead of it,” Chatmon said.

“Just kind of walking up and down the streets by myself gets kind of scary,” said Alex Leniz, who plays at the downtown bars regularly.

And just this weekend, two people were shot in a parking lot near the club district.   Chatmon says more bike patrols may be an option. A nightclubs task force study released last year made that recommendation.

“I think you will see a commitment to additional police on the street as far as our bike patrol, which does an excellent job downtown,” Chatmon said.

Overall, the goal is to make the city experience after dark even better and get more people to check it out.
“Satisfaction for us is when our customers are all satisfied so public safety is the beginning of that,” he said.

Chatmon says the nighttime manager will work with a committee made up of other city employees and business owners.

Other cities like London, Toronto and San Francisco also have similar positions in place.

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