JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A city ordinance required all Jacksonville internet cafes to have a security guard officer present and now that a statewide law has shutdown all cafes, many of those officers are also out of work.
"Now they don't know what to do. They call me and they ask me 'how am I going to pay my rent? What am I going to buy? What am I going to do?' And I don't have any answers for them," said Igor Krasnov, Operations Manager at AK Security in Jacksonville.
Internet cafes made up 50 percent of the income at AK Security. For the last week, about 20 officers at the company have been out of work including Marcus Burroughs, who has three small children and is now struggling to make ends meet.
"Your bills don't slow down because your income slows down, especially when you have little mouths to feed; they don't understand that daddy is having a hard time right now. You have to provide," said Burroughs.
Burroughs, like many other officers, also made an investment for his line of work.
"There's a lot of expenses that a local guard has to put out. You have all your tactical gear, you have your training that you have to do, your vest, and your licensing that you have to do and it really comes at a hurt to know that all the work that you put in you can't really get anything back out of it at this point," said Burroughs.
AK Security Chief of Operations Alexander Krasnov said that licensing and gear costs for local guards could run between $1,000 to $1,500. He said officers at internet cafes earned anywhere from $10 to $15 an hour, and said he had both full-time and part-time employees and now he is hoping new opportunities will come along to put his staff back to work.
"We just tell them you know, we appreciate your service, I'm sorry, and we just have to say a lot of sorrys and apologies for something that we really didn't have to be sorry for. We haven't gone their and taken their job," said Krasnov.
First Coast News