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Triangle Bar in Denver ramps up security in wake of Club Q shooting

Triangle Bar in Denver
Posted at 10:44 PM, Dec 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-03 03:29:36-05

DENVER — The attack at Club Q rocked the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs and beyond. Now, night clubs in Denver are both showing their support as well as rethinking their own safety.

The Triangle Bar in Denver has increased its security measures in the wake of the tragedy, as it also rallies support for its “sister club” in Colorado Springs.

The news reached the staff at Triangle Bar within minutes of the shooting, and immediately they began mourning the tragedy as well as wondering if they could become a target next.

“It’s a lot of grief that comes up really quickly, and stress,” said Jarred McClain, operational manager for Triangle Bar. “We saw fit to try to handle that, you know, as quickly as we could. So that night, we started talking about new security measures right away, before we even went home.”

Even before the Club Q shooting, Triangle Bar regularly hired off-duty Denver police officers to stand guard outside the club on weekend nights. Now, it is bringing in private security every night its open.

Bag searches — which were already conducted — are now accompanied with pat downs of guests from guards upon entry. McClain was unsure how their patrons would take the changes, he said, but has been pleased to see the degree to which they have embraced them.

“My security guards have been subjected to a lot of hugs,” he laughed. “A lot of ‘thank-yous’ in passing or at the time of pat down. It’s really great to see.”

Increased safety at the bar will be an “all hands on deck” approach. Staff underwent initial active-shooter training Nov. 30, and more trainings will be scheduled to make sure lessons stay fresh.

“There’s not much we can do to change the minds of those who might harm us,” McClain said. “But there’s a lot we can do to make sure that our staff is ready to handle themselves in the best way they can.”

In late November, the Department of Homeland Security released a terrorism advisory bulletin raising concern about threats of violence toward the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups. Some extremists are being inspired by recent attacks, including the shooting at Club Q, the bulletin said.

“I know it’s definitely on the minds of our patrons,” said McClain. “And it’s hard to say, you know, if there’s a lot more people wishing to do ill upon our community. I can’t say that for sure. What I can say is this: that if people are emboldened to do these sorts of acts, we have to be ready. And we will be.”

The Triangle Bar is holding a benefit for Club Q Friday, Dec. 2 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Live DJs, drag performances, raffles, and an auction will all raise proceeds that will go directly to staff and performers from Club Q who currently can’t work.