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In wake of Orlando, Suffolk police unveil nightlife safety initiative

Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron, left, and

Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron, left, and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy D. Sini hold a news conference on Friday, June 24, 2016, at police headquarters in Yaphank to talk about plans for safety initiatives at entertainment venues in the county. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Suffolk police are adding safety initiatives at entertainment venues and nightclubs as one way to reduce potential casualties in attacks like the one that occurred at an Orlando club earlier this month, Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said yesterday.

“Whenever something happens in the country of the significance of Orlando, we take a hard look at all of our procedures and initiatives to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect the residents of Suffolk County,” Sini said at a morning news conference at police headquarters in Yaphank.

While there are other initiatives taking place that Sini said he would elaborate on at a later date, Friday’s conference focused on increasing state liquor authority and fire inspections of bars and nightclubs during their operating hours.

“We’ve studied past incidents where we’ve seen mass casualties and shooting situations or a fire situation, and oftentimes one of the best ways to reduce casualties in these unfortunate events is to make sure that the establishments are complying with all safety codes,” Sini said.

Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more wounded in the June 12 shooting attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The attack took place in the early morning hours, when the club was full of revelers.

Sini said the Suffolk police department will partner with local towns and conduct unannounced inspections of various nightclubs and bars in Suffolk County. The only difference is that the inspections will take place during hours of operation as opposed to off hours, when there are no customers in the venues.

“It’s important to see that the club owner, the bar owner, is complying with the applicable rules and regulations during operation,” Sini said.

Inspectors will be checking to see if the exits of the establishments are clearly marked and unlocked and that there is no overcrowding or violations of occupancy capacities.

“People should enjoy the summer. They should feel comfortable going to nightclubs and bars in Suffolk County,” Sini said.

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