Private security coming to the 16th Street Mall by mid-August

Security guards will work alongside Denver Police
Posted at 6:23 PM, Aug 02, 2016

DENVER, Colo. -- Private security guards will soon be patrolling the 16th Street Mall.

The move comes in the wake of several high profile attacks on the mall, as well as increasing concerns from businesses that police alone can't handle the escalating issue.  

The Downtown Denver Partnership told Denver7 on Tuesday, private security should be patrolling the mall by mid-August.

It’s still unclear what that security detail will look like, but we know it will extend from one end of the mall to the other.

Many businesses and pedestrians say that private security can't get to the mall soon enough.

“There's a lot of people working, having lunch," said Taylor Hindes, who works on the mall. “Security is always good.”

Many people tell us one of the bigger issues on the mall is the amount of homeless people who gather there. 

"They're all begging and harassing people for leftovers and stuff like that," said Maggie White, manager of Overland Fine Sheepskin and Leather.

White has managed overland the store at the corner of 16th St. and Larimer for nearly 20 years now.

“The cops do a great job,” White said. “But I don't think the police can keep up. Our private security can barely keep up."

And there are a growing number of businesses on and near 16th Street that agree.

The Downtown Denver Partnership will begin using private, uniformed security on the mall saying, "…safety, including the perception of safety, is imperative to creating a successful center city."

“My doctor said she got harassed and she's never coming back downtown,” said White. “I told her that it happens very rarely, but that’s the current perception.”

Those security guards will not carry guns, but they will have authority to move transients and other loiterers off the mall.

“It just feels less safe at night,” said Hindes. “During the day it’s more of a corporate, business population. And then, at night, it definitely changes.”