Kobalt workers taking workplace training, owner collaborating with other gay bar owners on security

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 21:21:55-04

The owner of Kobalt, a gay bar in Phoenix, said rowdy bar patrons used to be his biggest concern.

Until Sunday.

Now Jeffery Perales will require his workers to have active shooter training provided by the Phoenix Police Department, in response to the shooting at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse, where police say Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people before he was killed.

"(They educate on) different situations involving firearms and the best way to handle them," said Perales.
Sunday's massacre in Orlando left a lot of "what ifs" in its wake.  For Kobalt bartender Andrew Sisson it's "what if I don't come home after my shift?"

"It makes me remember to give my husband a hug and a kiss when I leave," Sisson said.

Perales said running a gay bar has always had its risks, but the Orlando massacre took his fears to a different level.

"That's always in your mind (when you run a gay bar)", Perales said.

Perales, along with other owners of local LGBT-friendly bars, have also formed a coalition to keep each other informed about suspicious patrons who frequent the gay bar scene. Their first meeting is Tuesday.

Phoenix Police has designated officers that provide local companies with the workplace training.

"Any business requesting active shooter training can contact the community action officer of the precinct that serves the area in which the business lies," Phoenix Police Officer James Holmes said.