RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Safety and security are the two top priorities for Raleigh city leaders.
Both city leaders and Downtown Raleigh Alliance are hiring their own private security teams to patrol and assist in keeping people safe.
DRA’s private security team launched in the afternoon on Oct. 31, according to DRA’s President & CEO Bill King.
“They’re really intended to be eyes and ears and a deterrent,” King said. “I mean, there’s certain misbehavior that doesn’t like eyes around it, right, and so if you think about that, somebody who is engaging in perhaps a drug deal or something, it’s not something they like to be visible with.”
The hope remains that these private security guards will help deter any problems before they begin.
Surveillance video from Vic’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in Raleigh’s City Market, shows a hooded man on Sunday, breaking the glass door and raiding the register.
“They took $400. But we have to also fix the door. The door was around $700,” said co-owner Michael Longo.
The break-in is just one example of some of the problems Longo said downtown business owners have to deal with.
“People come in and bother the customers on the patio,” he added.
Longo told CBS 17 that City Market hires their own security for the shops in the area, and he’s grateful for the assistance.
But he’s concerned it may not be enough.
“It would be nice to kind of get another group of guys to keep an eye on this area,” said Longo.
Some business owners have opted to hire their own private security teams to adequately protect their workers and their customers.
Longo said that’s not an option for them right now.
Instead, he’s hoping DRA’s new private security team can help.
“Those guys actually stopped in [Monday] and handed us their card and said call them if we see anything suspicious,” explained Longo.
Starting this week, and going until at least June, there will be DRA ambassador security patrols seven days a week, 12 hours a day.
They will be walking up and down the streets, in a specific route.
“We want them to be walking around, creating a noticeable presence to deter any criminal activity, notifying police immediately when witnessing any illegal activity,” said Bill King, the President and CEO of DRA, told city leaders during a meeting on October 24.
“I feel like with everything going on in Raleigh and the world itself, there really needs to be a change,” added Longo.