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Vegas adding police at Fremont Street Experience

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm •  Published: June 6, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas officials announced new steps to tone down aggressive panhandling at the Fremont Street Experience, a downtown tourist corridor filled with street performers and costumed characters who pose for photos in hopes of tips.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman said the city will inform tourists that they aren't obligated to tip performers and people in costume, and will enforce a no-touching rule to keep performers from touching spectators and vice versa.

"We've heard from our visitors and residents loud and clear that they have concern about what they're finding as they visit," Goodman said at a news conference Thursday. "Some of these individuals are nearly nude and others are very aggressive."

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said he will increase the number of officers assigned to the area, which includes shops and restaurants below a giant, video-screen canopy. On a typical night, about nine officers patrol Fremont Street.

Gillespie did not detail how many more officers would be in the area, but he said some panhandlers intimidate visitors and increased police presence may reduce that.

"There is an intimidation factor there. I believe (with) a police officer standing in close proximity, there is not going to be that intimidation aspect," Gillespie said.

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