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Bloomington Leaders Ramping Up Safety Following Downtown Violence

BLOOMINGTON - A violent video of a fight captured in downtown raising questions about safety and nightlife.
BLOOMINGTON - A violent video of a fight captured downtown is raising questions about safety and nightlife.

The footage shot by a business owner is being viewed by police and the city mayor.

As images continue to circulate, leaders say it's a red flag crime needs to be stopped before it gets worse.

Weekend Recap:

Bloomington leaders say a fight caught on camera Saturday is not uncommon.

But as Mayor Tari Renner watches the action unfold, he says it's disappointing.

"This is just unacceptable to have this kind of behavior.”

The fight broke out just after one am, but by the time police arrived minutes later, the scene had been cleared.

"We definitely need the community to be involved,” said Assistant Chief Ken Bays.  “Our system is such that we are the ones documenting events.  If we don't have anyone telling us what happened…it's difficult for us to hold people accountable."

According to police reports many altercations took place over the weekend.

"This is the reason we have to have aggressive enforcement of our liquor laws,” said Renner.

"It’s a jungle.  I don't know, it’s different every time,” said college student Timothy Bennett.

Bennett often goes downtown.

"We’re all 21, not at home, away from the parents, going crazy,” he explained.

While the scene where the brawl took place is now quiet, leaders say big changes are in the works.

That could include closing off certain city blocks to traffic on weekends.

"If they can spill out into the street they're not going to bump up against each other and have these kinds of issues and problems,” said Renner.

The city is also getting more downtown surveillance cameras--going from five to 20. 

They'll be installed later this year in hopes an extra set of eyes will prevent problems.

"That would aid us in the follow up and possibly serve as a deterrent for some behaviors,” said Assistant Chief Bays.

City leaders want people to enjoy themselves and have a good time.

But they say it takes an entire community to ensure safety remains intact.

"Every entity, every cog in this wheel has to work together for greater success.  And I think we're taking the steps to do that,” said Bays.

The Bloomington mayor has reached out to council members following the violence over the weekend.

He says plans to ramp up safety will continue.

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