City of Orlando looks to add permanent barriers to prevent vehicle attacks

OPD Chief John Mina says city looking at short-term, long-term solutions

ORLANDO, Fla. – At Lake Eola on Friday afternoon, artists were already setting up and registering for the Fall Fiesta this weekend. Yet another event, police Chief John Mina said hundreds will gather in the City Beautiful.

"We just do a good job of staffing those with plenty of officers and most importantly planning for traffic, planning for large crowds or anything that would jeopardize the safety of the people that were there," Mina said.

It's at the top of mind for the chief and city officials, especially after the terrorist attack in New York City just this week, where a man in a rental pickup truck plowed into a group of people.

Mina says in order to prevent an attack like that, it's going to take more than just more officers. Now, OPD is using trucks and buses.

"You saw on the one year anniversary of Pule we had large buses out there," Mina said. "And just this past Halloween night we had large trucks blocking the roadways to keep the thousands of people on Orange Avenue safe."

However, Mina says the city is planning for even more permanent solutions.

In an email, the mayor's office wrote they are in the early process of building permanent barricades or bollards around the Downtown Entertainment District, which includes Lake Eola.

"Currently, we use temporary barriers and devices to protect crowds on high activity nights in Downtown," said city spokesperson Cassandra Lasfer. "We are also currently in the process of exploring the installation of a permanent bollard system in the Downtown entertainment District to further enhance our efforts to prevent acts of violence by vehicles."

The city is in the beginning phases, right now sending out bids to companies who specialize in this area, who will help develop a plan to see what is needed and where in the city.

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