Armed guards to patrol Loop starting Thursday

CHICAGO – Two armed private security guards will patrol State Street in the Loop starting Thursday.

The guards will enhance efforts by the Chicago Police Department, according to a press release.

The guards will patrol State Street between Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway during busy hours in the shopping district.

According to the release, the guards, provided by HLSA Security, will be on State Street from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays. They will be patrolling from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays. Their hours will increase beginning in May.

Michael Edwards, president and CEO of the Chicago Loop Alliance, said the addition of off-duty and retired police officers will help enhance safety for businesses.

The guards will wear a uniform, have a badge and be able to make arrests.

The cost of the new guards will be paid for by the Chicago Loop Alliance.