Fremont Street Experience Visitors To Face Tougher Weekend Security
Posted on: July 9, 2022, 10:02h.
Last updated on: July 9, 2022, 10:07h.
Fremont Street Experience is beefing up its weekend security. The move follows a couple of recent shootings and other violent crime at or near the popular downtown Las Vegas pedestrian mall.
Expect to see the kind of security precautions there one finds in airports. These include metal detectors at entrances, security guards checking bags for weapons and other restricted items, as well as a limited curfew on weekend evenings for those under 21 years of age, according to local media reports.
Those under 21 must not enter the Fremont Street Experience without the presence of a parent or guardian after 8 pm during special events on weekends, the mall said in a statement.
Under the new initiative, more security guards will be on patrol at the pedestrian mall, too. As will more Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers. Many casinos, bars, and other businesses in the area already have their own security forces.
Andrew Simon, Fremont Street Experience’s president and CEO, said in a recent statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that “the safety and security of our guests, employees and tenants has been and will always be our priority.”
Everything else is secondary. The incidents from the past week cannot and will not be tolerated. Our tourism, jobs and safety will not be threatened by these actions,” Simon added.
The upped Fremont Street Experience security measures will only be in place from 8 pm to 5 am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Las Vegas Locally, a Twitter account, reported this week.
Also, visitors to Fremont Street Experience will see more LVMPD cops on patrol there between 10 pm and 5 am on weekends. The area is particularly busy on Friday and Saturday nights.
LVMPD patrol officers assigned to downtown will additionally get more assistance from the gang unit, as well as other LVMPD divisions.
Already, the Fremont Street Experience has 300 surveillance cameras in place in the five-block area. A high-tech gunshot detection system is in operation under the mall’s iconic canopy.
This week, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman revealed city officials are considering expanding the current city of Las Vegas curfew on minors, which regulates those under 18 years of age. It would be upped to include those between 18 and 20, if enacted.
As of now, the city of Las Vegas, which includes the Fremont Street Experience, does not allow those under 18 to be unaccompanied between 10 pm and 5 am of the following day between Sunday and Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, the curfew runs between midnight and 5 am of the following day.
In response to the security initiative, Vital Vegas’ Scott Roeben noted this week, “It’s weird to only do these security measures on weekends (definitely a budget-driven decision) …”
We’re curious about how innumerable entrances to Fremont Street Experience (such as through the casinos and retail stores and restaurants) will be monitored.
“It’s unclear where the access points to Fremont Street Experience will be, but in the past the checkpoints have been in the most visible spots, such as between the Fremont Street East district and Fremont Street Experience proper,” he added.
Idiots to Blame
But Roeben urges tourists and locals to put the recent violent crimes on Fremont Street in perspective.
“There hasn’t really been an explosion of crime on Fremont Street. There are a lot of people, and there’s a small fraction of those people who are idiots. It’s irksome the rest of us have to go through security because of their dumbassery, but that’s a reality of our world today.”
Uptick in Violent Crime
Police data confirm there are more violent crimes in the area including the Fremont Street Experience and on nearby streets.
LVMPD Capt. Hector Cintron revealed this week, that year-to-date 45 aggravated assaults were reported for the area. Last year, it was 27 as of early July. Similarly, year-to-date 20 robberies were reported in the area. In 2021, there were 14 as of early July.
One of the most recent incidents was on July 4 when a man was shot in the buttocks. His injuries are not life-threatening.
But on June 19, a more serious crime took place when a 16-year-old boy allegedly fatally shot a man at the Fremont Street Experience. An innocent bystander was wounded from gunfire.
That incident began as an argument that escalated to violence, police revealed. That has happened on other occasions.
“A majority of these calls stemmed from an altercation or verbal exchange that may lead to a fight and that’s where we were having this,” Cintron told the Review-Journal.