Armed security guards will begin patrolling one of the most popular shopping areas in downtown Chicago.
The guards, which will be provided by HLSA Security according to a press release from the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), will patrol State Street between Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway beginning on Thursday morning.
The guards will be in uniform, be armed, have badges, and will be able to make arrests according to the CLA.
According to the press release, the guards will patrol Thursdays between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
On Fridays, guards will patrol from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6:30-10:30 p.m. They will also be on patrol between 2 and 10 p.m. on Saturdays, with hours increasing in May.
“This is in response to Alderman (Brendan) Reilly’s request and our businesses’ requests for faster response times from police,” CLA President Michael Edwards said. “The security guards program is to assist our ambassadors and the police in making experiences on State Street and in the Loop even safer and more enjoyable.”
Ald. Reilly, who represents the 42nd Ward in Chicago, expressed support for the plan, saying that he is “grateful” to the CLA for making the decision.
“For years, I’ve been advocating for new methods to add more security personnel downtown, to help supplement the Chicago Police Department’s good work,” he said.
The company says that businesses along the street, including the Palmer House, have voiced support for the plan to have armed guards on the street.