BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A pilot project involving downtown security is going now live.
Downtown Bakersfield businesses have an issue with the homeless community and they have spent the last few months coming up with solutions.
Many people complain they’ve been harassed by the homeless which affects local business. The answer, is a security team to patrol the downtown area.
“This is from the businesses to the Block to Block program feel like this is what they need,” Melanie Farmer the CEO of Downtown Business Association said. “They need more security and so we decided to try this walking security. Presence seems to be a big issue when it comes to making sure that everything is taken care of so we thought we should try it.”
This project is part of the Downtown Business Association and the Downtown Bakersfield Development Corporation’s “Block to Block Project”.
Essentially, dozens of downtown businesses are collaborating to lower the cost of hiring the private security team, “O&A” to patrol the area throughout the day and night.
The patrol going from Chester Avenue through Wall Street to Eye Street and then up to 20th street. The project has already kicked off at the beginning of the month and will continue for the next six months.
“The city has taken an approach where we’re trying to provide help first instead of incarceration,” Lt. Jeffery Burdick with Bakersfield Police Department said. “We try to get these folks public services or help first. If we’re not able to do so and there are beds available then the anti camping ordinance could be put into effect.”
A second patrol is getting organized to service businesses on West Chester. For now more details of the project are expected to be announced this Friday at the State of the Downtown Breakfast at City Serve.