Those from outside of Tuscaloosa who currently live here most often settled in the city as a result of living in a more rural area and wanting to live somewhere larger but not quite a heavily populated metropolitan or those from larger cities in the U.S. who want a slower paced life but not quite the modern day Mayberry.

But in recent years, the rate of violent crimes has increased.  For a city this size, the rate is reminiscent of larger cities where violent crimes are an everyday occurrence.

However, violent crimes in some metro Tuscaloosa areas receive more press than others. Then, there have been locations where incidents resulted in closure, even without serious injury. Others draw high-risk demographics and have had deadly incidents; yet they remain open.

So, what exactly are the guidelines by which businesses must operate in Tuscaloosa? What constitutes closure versus remaining open? Is it the number of incidents? The number of people injured at a particular location? The demographics of the injured?

According to Tuscaloosa City Council District 2 representative Raevan Howard, as it pertains to her district, the issues do not lie solely on the businesses nor the patrons.

Howard is a huge advocate of community policing; but she also says that she's been talking with area businesses concerning measures that may be taken to curb criminal activity. These include hours of operation, property management, and even the products being sold and the effects they may have on criminal element.

It is important for communities and the businesses they support to work coherently, as most businesses provide a convenience to their immediate areas; yet they need the support of area residents to sustain operations.

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