Gay nightclub in Denver questions lack of police outreach ahead of PrideFest

Posted at 10:51 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-14 01:01:47-04

Clubs and bars across Denver are gearing up for this weekend’s PrideFest.

But a few gay nightclubs are expressing concern because they say they haven’t heard from Denver police about how to handle security.

Steven Alix, owner of X Bar Denver on Colfax, says he’s reached out to police, but still hasn’t talked to anyone directly.

“I wish there was more involvement, educating us on specifics,” said Alix. “We need some guidance.”

Alix says his customers, staff and their families and partners are demanding to know what the security plan is for the weekend.

“A lot of them are scared, and rightfully so,” Alix said.

"We can't be afraid to go to work,” said X Bar bartender, Wade Adams. “We can't be afraid to go out and do daily life. And we're not going to."

Adams is expressing what many of us are feeling in the wake of Orlando - resolve and courage.      

However, Adams also admits, at a gay nightclub, smart and organized security is a must.

"We need to make sure we have the adequate staffing. And the right eyes, I guess, kind of looking around," he said.

And that's Alix's primary concern right now. Nearly 48 hours after the Orlando shooting and just three days before Denver’s PrideFest, he wonders where the police have been.

"Why hasn't somebody stopped in?” questioned Alix. “Why are we having news stations stop in and not the police?"

The DPD issued this statement:

“In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando, the City of Denver is working with event organizers, and State and Federal partners to ensure a safe PrideFest for all this weekend. Although the Denver Police Department is unaware of any credible threats against attendees, there will be enhanced security measures at the parade and event. DPD does ask festival attendees and residents that if they see something, say something.”

But X Bar, for one, questioning why gay nightclubs aren't included in that statement, considering the huge crowds expected this weekend.

“It's not just the gay community. It's trans and bisexual and straight," Alix said.

Denver Police say there is a process in place for bars and clubs looking to hire off-duty officers for security and they encourage clubs to contact them about that.

X Bar says it’s not asking for free off-duty security, just guidance on what kind of security to add in the wake of the mass shooting.