Some changes made, others still needed 2 years after Pulse shooting

Safety remains concern for some in Jacksonville after Orlando nightclub massacre

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tuesday marks two years since the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando.

While many safety and security changes have been made since then, some in Jacksonville continue to call for more changes.

A memorial was held on the University of North Florida campus for the 49 victims who lost their lives.

Many people who attended the memorial said they appreciate the efforts made since the Pulse shooting, but more changes are needed to keep people safe from attacks.

"We need to keep on remembering and continuing to fight to make the streets and clubs, everything, our surroundings safer -- not just for gay or straight, for everybody," said Manuel Morales, who read the victims' names. 

The people at the memorial shared hugs and wrote down their feelings, hoping for an end to gun violence.

"It’s been two years and not much has changed and that’s not fair. It’s not fair to the 49 people that lost their lives at Pulse. It’s not fair to the people who have been lost since and too many tragedies," said Michelle Adams-Manning, with Equality Florida. "We need change."

Later in the day, News4Jax went to Metro, the largest gay nightclub in the Jacksonville area. Metro, which is located in the Murray Hill neighborhood, is similar to Pulse Nightclub in size and layout. 

Since the Pulse shooting, Jerry Rosenburg, co-owner of Metro, said the nightclub has made many changes.

Rosenburg said security has become a major priority, and there's always a security guard at Metro. 

The gay nightclub has been a place for the LGBTQ community to enjoy themselves for 24 years. Ever since the Pulse Nightclub shooting, safety has been a concern for some. Rosenburg said he’s doing all he can to keep the club a safe place for all.

"We have seven exits out of the disco -- a lot of safety that way," he said. "That’s the most important thing."

Clubgoers used to be able to walk through the doors, show their IDs and then go in. Now, every person is checked with a metal detector wand before they can enter Metro.

Rosenburg said besides going through a security check before entering, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is also helping keep the club a safe place.

"Since the Pulse massacre, JSO has been absolutely wonderful to us. They’re constantly riding through the parking lot," Rosenburg said. "One in particular, Officer Burke Fudge, he makes sure, every night he’s on duty, he writes his report in our parking lot, really makes sure to take care of us -- as so many the officers do. We’re very appreciative."

Rosenberg added that every now and again, they catch someone with a pocket knife or something of that sort, and they just ask that guest to return it to their vehicle. He said that 99 percent of their patrons love the extra security.

About the Author: