BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The LGBTQ+ community is on high alert after five people were killed and 25 others injured in that Colorado Springs gay club shooting. News 4 spoke with the owners of the popular Club Marcella to see how they’re keeping guests safe.
Club Marcella opened up on Pearl Street in 1995. since then, owner Joe Marcella said it’s evolved from a gay club to a place for everyone.
“I want to have a conscience clear that I’m doing everything I can for my customers,” Marcella said. “You come in here at nighttime, I see all kinds of people in my place, getting along, hugging, dancing. I think I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
The Queen City club moved from the Theatre District to the Cobblestone District earlier this year. And with that move came significant upgrades in security.
“Everyone in here has gotta get pat down, metal detector, you come in,” Marcella said. “We know there’s no weapons. I can deal with fights but not weapons — reality check.”
More than 70 security cameras, two armed guards are on-site and several emergency exits were added. In the wake of the Colorado Springs gay club shooting, Marcella’s CFO Michael Slyder says having a good relationship with police is very important.
“If you show that you’re committed to having a safe place,” Slyder said. “The police end up partnering with you and supporting you in some ways. You still have to show you’ve committed the resources. It just isn’t about making money.”
Joe Marcella said a big factor in making his guests feel safe is being visible and making a personal connection with everyone who walks in the club.
“Club Marcella is a home for everyone and safety is our number one,” added Marcella. “And I’ve spent enough money on it that I know what I’m doing and what I’m supposed to be doing.”
The United States Department of Homeland Security issued a terror threat bulletin last week. It warns that domestic extremists are praising the deadly Colorado gay club shooting. It cautioned of copycat attacks.