RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — This is the first weekend Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s private security guards are out on patrol.
The guards are devoted to a small area near the transit station, part of Fayetteville Street and side streets. An area that was very busy Friday night.
The liveliness of Downtown is why Lilian Danieli loves owning a business in the area. She owns Nashona on Hargett Street. Recently, however, she’s been scared for her safety, after she said a man tried to steal from the shop.
“That was one of the experiences that made me really, really scared of being here in the evening alone,” Danieli said.
Danieli said she felt safer this week with the new private security.
“I think that it’s really making us feel good and feel that, you know, we are protected,” Danieli said. “You know, we also want our customers to feel that they are protected when they come to shop.”
Friday evening, a CBS 17 crew walked around the Downtown core and spotted the new guards once on the block of The Raleigh Times. The crew spotted Downtown Raleigh Alliance Ambassadors several times.
Downtown Raleigh Alliance President and CEO Bill King said one of the main differences between the two is the ambassadors are trained in hospitality and safety, while the private security guards main role is safety.
He said they’re intended to be eyes and ears and a deterrent for misbehavior.
“But at the end of the day, you know, when they see something serious they’re going to be calling the police to do that, but they’ll be present for it, so they’ll be able to document what’s going on, you know, and be able to hopefully steer a response there faster,” King said.
King said a minimum of two guards will be patrolling at a time, unarmed and wearing body cameras. Their hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. CBS 17 asked King why they don’t stay on later. He said those are the hours the ambassador team received the most calls, but the hours may be adjusted if needed. He also noted the ambassadors are out later.