Street Vendors…The First Line of Defense?

So I never thought of it this way before…how vital street vendors can be to our security.  It’s a timely topic given that Roanoke’s City Council is considering moving the vendors in the Market Building onto the sidewalk as the “heart of downtown” undergoes a major renovation.

Anyhow, I digress.  By now you’re probably aware of the bombing attempt this past Saturday (4/1) in New York’s Time Square?  But did you know, street vendors were the first to recognize the  “suspicious vehicle”.  Lance Orton and Duane Jackson are  fixtures on W. 34th and Broadway.  Jackson sales those not-so-designer handbags.  (By the way, I was in New York two weekends ago…I wonder if I passed them ha ha?  And no, I didn’t buy a knock off if that’s your next question.)  Both men recognized the SUV was running with no one inside.  A pretty good observation if you ask me.

Bottom line, street vendors do a lot more than just sell food or their “craft of choice”.  Being outside all day, everyday, they see things we passerby’s could certainly miss. 

Just a thought here, with so many police/sheriff’s departments reducing manpower because of budget cuts, perhaps we should encourage street vending?  Hey, after this weekend, it’s not far-fetched to say, they could be our first line of defense.

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