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The police presence at Five Point remains constant, weeks after chaos erupted over Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Some businesses have mixed feelings about this because they say it affects their bottom line.
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The staff spoke to Action News Jax both on and off camera, saying it was a double-edged sword.
Employees and business owners say that, on the one hand, it has helped with security, and they say that the situation has calmed down over the last weekend, but, on the other hand, business is much slower.
“After Cinco de Mayo, people went crazy, they were in the streets, loud music, barbecues,” Silbester Bajaras said.
According to the JSO, the presence of the police has not gone away. Bajaras is the manager and co-owner of 904 Tacos on Park Street and has said it has its pros and cons.
“I have a 50/50 frame,” he said. “It has its perks and advantages, and some not at all.”
Bajaras says the positives are the safety of workers and customers, while the negatives affect the business.
“The numbers have dropped 35 percent since May,” he said. “It slowed down the business a bit, we didn’t have many people. I remember it was already 11, 11:30 pm and we were still packed doing takeaway, takeout drink, but now by 10 or 10:30pm it’s completely empty.”
The JSO told Action News Jax that the officers will remain in place for security purposes, which is of paramount importance. “By having a visible and active police presence, we are committed to preventing any potential issues that may arise and addressing issues promptly,” the spokesman said.
The JSO crime mapping tool shows that there have been 48 incidents since Cinco de Mayo and 11 incidents in the last month.
“It’s not as noisy as it used to be,” Jacob Matuska said.
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Most of the workers say that the presence was necessary at first, but now they told us that it was a double-edged sword.
Jacob Matushka, assistant general manager of Corner Taco near Park Street, stressed that safety should be a priority.
“This security gives me peace of mind,” he said. It’s a small price to pay for safety.”
Some say it might be good to reduce the presence, but ultimately feel it is necessary in some capacity. They also want people to know that Five Points is still a thriving area and a great place to go out.
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