Florida bars enhance security using text alerts

Bars in the city of Melbourne in Florida are using text messages to help enhance security and reduce disorderly behaviour.

A communication scheme is in place which allows downtown bars to send emergency text messages to one another, warning managers of anti-social patrons and other threats which could be dangerous to customers. It’s hoped that the SMS system will eventually be used to facilitate networking and improve regional marketing to locals, floridatoday.com reports.

The need for such a system was established following some fights which took place during Halloween weekend in 2014, resulting in a serious injury to a person, clickorlando.com notes. It was Clint Hill, community liaison for the Space Coast Tech Council, who devised a streamlined text message system meant to prevent crime rather than just respond to it.

The text alerts have been in use for three weeks and the positivity from local bar owners is evident. John Peake, the general manager at Meg O’Malley’s, said: “It’s a step in the right direction for all the restaurants and bars to work together to make sure not just that patrons in their particular establishments are safe but also that the patrons in other places are safe.

“It’s a way for the business community to team up anytime there’s a dangerous situation.”