The Prince Albert Downtown Business Improvement District (PADBID) is hiring a private security company to supply guards to patrol the city's downtown during regular shopping hours.

“The feedback that we've been receiving is that people feel unsafe coming to the downtown to shop,” said PADBID Executive Director Rhonda Trusty.

She says business owners have noticed an increase in vagrancy.

“We have an element of people that are loitering in doorways that at are approaching customers for money of cigarettes,” Trusty said.

After discussions with the board, PADBID hired two private security guards.

Prince Albert Security Services has been hired by PADBID to supply two security guards to interact with the public and help direct those in need to services. Participating businesses will also be able to call the security guards while on duty to report issues.

“We just want to create an element of safety and create a positive shopping experience for people so they can enjoy coming back to the downtown,” said Trusty.

The security guards start work on July 1. They will work during regular daytime business hours, from Tuesday to Saturday until the end of September.

 PADBID, Prince Albert Police Service and Prince Albert Security Services are collaborating to establish the pilot project.

 The group has asked the guards to count the number of interactions with people. PADBID plans to use the data to seek government funding for future security projects.