Private Security Team on 16th Street Mall to Support Safe Environment in Downtown Denver
Denver, CO – The Downtown Denver Partnership (Partnership) and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) announced that they have contracted with Allied Universal Security Services to deploy a private security team on the 16th Street Mall beginning August 17, 2016. The implementation of private security is part of a continued emphasis for the Partnership and the BID to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment in Downtown Denver and is one of more than 240 actions identified by the Downtown Security Action Plan (Plan).
Private security officers, who will not carry firearms, will provide additional surveillance for infrastructure, environmental and quality of life issues to support prompt reporting of concerns, as well as work closely with Denver Police Department officers and private businesses in addressing unlawful behavior. They will patrol the 16th Street Mall (Mall) with an emphasis on nine blocks spanning from Arapahoe Street (including the three blocks of Skyline Park) to Broadway St. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A minimum number of private security officers, including one supervisor, will be on the Mall at all times. The exact schedule and number of officers on duty at any given time will continuously be evaluated and adjusted based on needs.
Private security patrols of public spaces, including alleys, will specifically address:
· Engaging with parties who are violating a City ordinance or State statute to inform them of the law and seek voluntary compliance. If a party does not comply, private security officers will request the support of the Denver Police Department.
· Directing individuals in need of social services to the appropriate resources.
· Providing an ambassador role for visitors in conjunction with the BID’s ongoing Ambassador program.
· Supporting increased communication among business and property owners, and coordination with other private security personnel Downtown.
“The Downtown Denver Partnership understands that it is both a private and public sector responsibility to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment in Downtown Denver,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “We are confident that implementation of this important element of the Downtown Security Action Plan will provide a visible and impactful presence of uniformed security along the 16th Street Mall and support the Denver Police Department in addressing unlawful behavior and other issues that may challenge our commitment to, or the perception of, a safe Downtown environment for residents, employees and visitors.”
The private security team will be uniformed with identification for both the BID and Allied Universal and will report to Eugene Wade, the Partnership’s downtown environment security manager.
“Allied Universal Security Services joins the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District in a commitment to a safe center city,” said Michael Daley, business manager of Allied Universal. “We have a demonstrated expertise in contributing to a safe Downtown environment through other contracts, including the Regional Transportation District’s Transit Security Officer team, and understand and are equipped with several approaches to best partner with Denver Police Department officers to effectively address issues and challenges facing the 16th Street Mall.”
The Downtown Security Action Plan, completed in January, is a holistic look at how the private sector can ensure Downtown Denver is a safe place to live, work and visit by supporting safety and security efforts. The Plan includes five focus areas: infrastructure and environment; communications, education and responsibility; regulation and enforcement; information and coordination; and strategy and management.
The Partnership also announced other updates specific to recommendations of the Plan, including:
· See Something, Say Something: The Partnership joins the Denver Police Department in encouraging the community to report any issues that may threaten public safety anywhere in Downtown Denver. Situations should be reported immediately by calling 911 so that appropriate resources can be dispatched immediately.
· Consumer Confidence Study for Security Action Plan: To better understand perceptions and opportunities for improvement, we are conducting a survey of Downtown stakeholders and will use the resulting data to supplement project efforts and help identify potential strategies and programs as the Plan moves forward. The survey is accessible online: surveymonkey.com/r/DDPConsumerConfidenceStudy
· Creating Safe and Secure Alleys: The BID has secured a master permit for seven alleys in Downtown Denver. Permitting the alleys creates an environment where only permitted uses will be allowed – such as emergency services and trash collection – to support public health and safety, as well as support leveraging alleys as public spaces by issuing permits for events and activation programs. Additional lighting, funded by the Partnership, has also been added to nine alleys along the 16th Street Mall, and the Partnership is also working with business owners to encourage voluntary locking dumpsters.
· Installation of New 16th Street Mall Street Lights: The City and County of Denver and the BID will begin installation of 182 new pedestrian lights along the 16th Street Mall on August 29 at Market Street and will continue in phases through the remainder of the year. The new lights will distribute light more uniformly across the Mall especially on the sidewalks, enhancing the sense of safety for all Mall users. The project is funded through Downtown TIF funds distributed by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority to replace aging fixtures and will use LED lighting to reduce energy usage and costs.
The Denver Police Department remains responsible for law enforcement, with private security officers complementing their efforts and further establishing a comprehensive network of security in Downtown Denver.
“Our goal is to leverage our collective resources, including significant commitment and investment from Downtown business and property owners, to address both our challenges and opportunities to provide a clean, safe and vibrant Downtown environment,” says Joe Vostrejs, past-chair of the Partnership and partner at City Street Investors. “Our efforts this far, including the hiring of a security manager and private security team, are just the beginning of a comprehensive and focused effort to address critically important issues for our center city.”
Photo courtesy of The Downtown Denver Partnership