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home : premium content : news April 30, 2016

5/1/2013 1:15:00 PM
City signs agreement for merchant patrol
Ian Dunn

After a successful test run last fall, the Leavenworth City Council has hired a security service to patrol the downtown area during the summer season. The council approved the agreement with Parker Corporate Services (Pacific Security) at the April 23 city council meeting.

Formerly known as Merchant Patrol, Pacific Security will be patrolling the downtown and other areas of Leavenworth between May and September. City Administrator Joel Walinski said they learned a lot when the patrol did a test run last September.

"Their presence on the street between 10 p.m. and 2 to 3 a.m. seemed to reduce the amount of after hours activity in the downtown," Walinski said. "Whether that is the really hard core vandalism or just hooligan type stuff. That all seems to be reduced."

Walinski said it was nice to have the logs from the patrol to get a sense what they saw and what they were doing in the downtown area. In the first couple days on patrol, they recovered several stolen bikes and helped apprehend the thieves, he said.

After discussions with Pacific Security officials, it was decided to start the patrol earlier in the evening, so people can see the security on duty.

"Instead of starting at 10 p.m. when it is dark, start at 7 p.m. Run that one officer 7 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. When he does get to the late evening, bring in another officer, especially on the busier nights," Walinski said. "This would be definitely for Friday and Saturday nights."

The contract calls for Friday, Saturday and Sundays nights with one random night per week. Walinski said they may end up doing Friday and Saturday, then rotating two days per week randomly.

"This probably seems to be the best, in terms of cost efficiency and best use of their time," he said. "This is the base schedule. As we get reports and see what is going on, we can modify that if we think there is a need to be addressed."

Councilwoman Carolyn Wilson said she appreciated the security patrol checking Art in the Park. Walinski pointed out the security patrol goes beyond the downtown area.

"It is the residential areas surrounding the downtown. They did run by the different schools, down at the park and Enchantment Park. It's not just the commercial area," he said.

The patrol would also provide additional security Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or editor@leavenworthecho.com.

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