Safety compliance at bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues will be checked in the wake of the Orlando massacre under a Suffolk County police and town initiative expected to be announced Friday.
Police and officials in the five western Suffolk towns will look for violations of occupancy limits and safety regulations, including blocked exits and potential fire hazards, according to a police news release.
“Overcrowding and limited exit access may lead to be a contributing factor to injury or death of patrons, especially in the event of a fire, active shooter or other emergency,” police said in the news release Thursday night.
Police Commissioner Timothy Sini is expected to lay out details in an 11 a.m. news conference at police headquarters.
Authorities will issue citations to “all violators who compromise the safety of our community,” police said in the release.
At Gossip, a gentleman’s nightclub in Melville, the management consultant said the business recently passed a fire code inspection and has separate clickers counting the people going in and out.
“I welcome them doing things like this,” said Brian Rosenberg, who’s spent 32 years managing clubs and restaurants, including at the Garden City Hotel. “It shouldn’t be just about doing it because of what happened. . . . This is something places should be aware of before it happens and then it wouldn’t happen.”
But beyond safety and fire regulations, he said, entertainment businesses need professionals who can discreetly screen people coming in — and spot anyone entering with an assault rifle.
“It’s all about preventive medicine here,” Rosenberg said.
With his assault rifle, Omar Mateen, 29, killed 49 people and injured more than 50 on June 12 at the gay nightclub before being fatally wounded in a firefight with police.
Many people took shelter in restrooms and other areas of the club, fearing they would be killed if they ran and worried they would be sitting ducks if they stayed and the gunman came.
Three hours after Mateen fired his first shots, SWAT teams stormed the premises to rescue people. They used an armored vehicle and battering ram to knock down part of a bathroom wall to pull out people.