Downtown businesses prepare for National Guard -

Downtown businesses prepare for National Guard

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By Stephanie Baumer By Stephanie Baumer

ST. LOUIS ( – Many people who work, live and visit St. Louis daily say they don’t see the point of the National Guard being in the city but say the extra police presence will be welcome if violent protesters come to the area.

Bob Ray, the president of the Downtown Restaurant and Bar Association, says he doesn’t expect too many protests downtown but if opportunists try to destroy city property then he is happy to have the National Guard in town.

Ray feels if opportunists come to the city to take advantage of the situation then the National Guard will be helpful in keeping area businesses and residents safe.

 “There’s just a small segment of the population that joins in peaceful protesters that does that and I think if the National Guard is here to do anything, it’s to protect businesses and residents, but also the protesters from negative elements that might join with them,” Ray said.

The St. Louis Downtown Neighborhood Association sent a statement saying the group “remains focused on enhancing the safety of downtown residents and employees, which is why we are in the process of developing a new citizen driven safety plan for downtown with the assistance of SLMPD, the Circuit Attorney’s Office, and Downtown STL Inc. We look forward to the opportunity of working with any and all parties interested in improving the safety of downtown St. Louis.”

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