RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Private security patrols are set to begin Saturday morning around the downtown GoRaleigh bus station as part of an agreement between the City of Raleigh and Capitol Special Police.
The four-month contract, which costs about $223,000, calls for two officers to patrol the downtown station and stops along Blount Street and Wilmington Street, between 4 AM and midnight. Officers will be uniformed and armed, and all manufacturers and types of weapons must be approved by Raleigh Police.
"If somebody on the property of the bus terminal has an issue, our officers certainly can handle it. If it looks like something that law enforcement is definitely going to have to be involved in, say a shooting just occurred or a stabbing just occurred, then our officers would call 911, get the Raleigh Police on the way, and then they would deal with that until the Raleigh officers got on site," said Dr. Roy Taylor, Chief of Capitol Special Police.
Security personnel will be required to wear body-worn cameras, which must be turned on when interacting with civilians. Staffers cannot have been terminated or asked to resign from a previous department or had an application rejected due to character or background issues.
"It's still a force multiplier role with the city of Raleigh. They're going to be in charge, are going to be the ones that actually bring any criminal charges because again, the staffing is going to be primarily security officers," said Taylor.
Downtown Raleigh Alliance has seen a positive response to its security providers, which have been in place throughout downtown since Halloween.
"We've seen a decrease in calls to 911, which is good. Overall, it's going pretty well and it'll be great for the city to get that at the transit center, so that's another piece of it. It's just important for that peace of mind and people feeling comfortable because if they don't feel comfortable, they won't come and support businesses," said Bill King, President and CEO of Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
King said they are adding extra security to align with the Illuminate Art Walk, which begins Friday night.
"It is important for supporting our businesses. What we find is since the pandemic people really respond to experiences, so you got to give them a different experience. And if you do, people will show up," said King.
Illuminate Art Walk installations are set up within the Sip N' Stroll District and will be in place through January 5th.
"The intention is to get families down here walking around. So spend some time around the holidays being downtown shopping, eating while you're here, but enjoy some cool art. It's a little bit different than the average holiday show," King explained.
September sales data was a bump over August across downtown, and King noted foot traffic for Small Business Saturday was strong.