Police, mayor crackdown on Fremont Street - 8 News NOW

Police, mayor crackdown on Fremont Street

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LAS VEGAS -- Tougher alcohol restrictions, a stepped-up police presence and more rules regarding street performers are among the changes coming to the Fremont Street Experience.

Downtown Las Vegas has seen a resurgence recently, but that popularity has also created problems. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced a joint effort Thursday to crack down on aggressive street entertainers and panhandlers.

"I'm a singer. I'm also a guitarist," Larry, the Crooner, said. 

He enjoys performing and is one of the entertainers performing along Fremont Street. Another entertainer is Misty Sins, who poses in her scantily-clad costume.

"I'm the little red devil, so I like to bring out the sin in everyone," she said. "I like to be very respectful. if I see a family coming by, I keep myself covered."

Both say aggressive entertainers demanding tips is a problem and they are in favor of some changes. There are also the panhandlers hustling for a living.

"With all the success we've had, we've also seen our growing pains," Mayor Goodman said.

While Goodman is proud of the downtown turnaround, she doesn't want any more trouble.
"We have seen the street performers being overly aggressive," Sheriff Gillespie said.

Signs will let visitors know that tipping street performers is not a requirement, and they should keep their distance.

"A 'no touch' rule that keeps street performers from touching visitors and visa-versa," Goodman said.

Because of rowdy crowds and booze- fueled problems, police presence will be beefed up.

"We will be committing a significant number of resources underneath the Fremont Street Experience," Gillespie said.

Concerned about constitutional rights, the ACLU will closely watch the city's moves.

"Depends on implementation. Depends on exactly what they're planning on doing. It can be done legally or can be done in violation of the constitution," said Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel, ACLU of Nevada.

The city will also be doing code enforcement monitoring the street performs who make excessive noise with their amplifiers. Mayor Goodman says she does not want to hurt street performers and characters who are polite and represent the city well.
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