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Marines

I work in the 911 Center and am very familiar with the problems downtown as both a visitor and someone who has to directly deal with the aftermath. While the "derelict homeless" cause problems routinely downtown, most of the bar owners and regulars know how to deal with the problem ones. When they get out of town they are routinely arrested, but it's pretty much an in and out thing with several of them being arrested fairly often (more than I wish to count), as this poster inaccurately posted, they do not cause the problems that have bar owners worrying. Typically active between 9pm-12am, they tend to be long gone by the hellish closing times. It's this 1:30-3:00am bullrush of every intoxicated person hitting the street at relatively the same time that causes the havoc and on some nights near riots. Comparing this summer to last summer though, the calls are down at closing. Are the bar owners doing something right, is tourism down (maybe its the gas prices), or has the "psuedo-banning" of the military really made an impact? The police could possibly do more, but there simply aren't enough of them. Arresting one person downtown means one less police officer to keep the area under control. If there are only ten officers, now there are nine. Some nights, there are more fights going on than officers we can get them to, and no officer wants to goto a fight alone, as the drunken yahoos often have no qualms of attacking the officer. You have to work very hard to get yourself arrested downtown. The real problems are more than you can honestly put a finger on to fix but the short list is: - over serving by the bars - climate of irresponsible behavior - lack of police manpower - 2am closing time As far as the military goes..yes they often were the offenders. I'm very pro-military and wish them all the respect in the world, but they aren't acting like soliders when they come down here. They're acting the exact oppposite often. The ex-military that work in our center all agree it's shameful, and they shouldn't be surprised they found themselves unwelcome.

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