Big Changes Coming To Bricktown Following Shooting

Thursday, May 31st 2012, 4:45 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Some big changes in are in store for Bricktown for Thursday night's game and in the future.

The Thunder is home Thursday for the first time since the shooting following the win over the Lakers. But if you're heading down to the game or downtown anytime you may notice things are a little bit different.

The Thunder Alley pre-party will go on as usual of course; the watch party on the big screen is not happening. In addition, expect a huge police presence. And on Wednesday night, Bricktown bar and nightclub owners met to discuss how they will be changing the way they do business as well.

At Tapwerk's, and at every other bar in Bricktown, they are expecting every one of these seats to be filled come game time.

"This will be one of our busiest nights of the week. So we will add extra security tonight," said Greg Powell, the General Manager of Tapwerks.

Powell was one of a number of bar and nightclub owners who met police Wednesday night.

"A majority of the conversation revolved around as a community, a united effort to have a certain code of conduct," said Jannette Smith, Executive Director of the Bricktown Association.

Smith says the biggest thing patrons will notice is stricter policies about who gets into the clubs in the first place. At Tapwerks, beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, they will have people at the door, checking not only for underage drinkers but troublemakers.

"And that's when you have to put trust in your door guys, that they are able to sense when something's not right. And it's better to just not let them in at all, as opposed to letting them in and seeing what happens," said Powell.

Bar personnel will also be charged with keeping a closer eye out for trouble before it escalates. Behind the scenes bar owners have agreed to communicate among themselves and with police whenever they notice undesirable clientele.

And police will have a much heavier presence. The Oklahoma City police chief says 140 officers will be in Bricktown Thursday night.  Extra lighting and surveillance towers have been put up to give a better view.