Security expert weighs in on first weekend of checkpoints in downtown Orlando

Security checkpoints were in place this weekend in downtown Orlando and will continue every Friday and Saturday night for the foreseeable future. Security experts are weighing in on how the checkpoints are keeping the community safe.

Six security checkpoints were up in downtown Orlando as extra security measures following a shooting last week. Orlando Police say they had no issues Friday night, and FOX 35 Orlando is waiting to learn how things went Saturday night. Security experts say the checkpoints add several levels of security.

"You see [checkpoints] in New Orleans, in other more metropolitan areas, it appears to be a bit more unusual for us in Central Florida, but we had our share of acts of violence with firearms and the idea is to deter that and to detect it and respond to it before it becomes a problem," said Security Expert Dave Benson.

The checkpoints include police officers, K9s, and security guards. Benson, a former K9 handler, says dogs can be trained to detect bombs and guns.

"It’s all by a sense of smell, and so they might be able to determine indications of explosives nitrates, which is what gunpowder is made of," said Benson. 

The added weekend security measures were put in place after a gunman opened fire into a crowd at Wall Street Plaza last Sunday and hurt seven people. Many say the safety measures make them feel more comfortable hanging out in Orlando. 

"I think it will help give everyone a better sense of security and make people feel safer downtown," said resident Adam Bass.

Benson said the layered security is normally used for special events, like a football game or concert. The checkpoints have been previously used in Orlando on New Year's, Halloween, and St. Patrick's Day.

"Sadly because of some of the unfortunate circumstances, that we experienced in downtown Orlando they’re going to have to resort to this behavior," said Benson. "The idea is to deter someone from thinking of doing it and then watching individuals who may behave in a suspicious way before we have some type of an attack."

The City of Orlando is also working on getting metal detectors but says it could take weeks to get them.